Building resilience: Overcoming temporary challenges by investing in long-term prosperity
Abu Dhabi,15 Apr 2020
We live in challenging, testing times. Now, more than ever, we need to work together, investing in health, education and technology, to build a stronger world. The coronavirus pandemic is impacting every nation on earth, bringing with it medical, emotional and financial challenges. Our hearts go out to those experiencing hardship, economic difficulty or bereavement during this troubled time. At the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, we stand ready to extend a helping hand to those in need, and are considering a range of innovative solutions to provide aid and comfort. The current situation doesn’t alter our mission, ethos or aims. Rather, it brings them into sharper focus. ADFD’s mission has always been to help developing countries achieve sustainable economic growth. We forge global partnerships and co-invest in development projects that uplift communities and create resilience. And what better time to focus on resilience than now? Our research and experience shows that resilient communities and countries have some factors in common. They embrace the potential of new technology. They invest in education. They strengthen healthcare infrastructure. Through its unique capabilities for disruption, Covid-19 reinforces an important lesson on priorities. The pandemic underscores how important it is for countries to focus and increase their investments in technological infrastructure, digital education and health. These three sectors should be seen as the axes of sustainable development, economic growth, prosperity and resilience. Covid-19 is a drastic case study in the importance of investing in these sectors. Consider that the healthcare sector and its tireless workers have been our vanguard against this threat. The only viable solution to combat the pandemic has been to rapidly add healthcare capacity. Then consider that traditional non-technological economic activity has suffered a massive blow in these times of isolation. Social distancing has led to offices, schools and centres of trade closing. The reverberations are echoing worldwide. Traditional education has also been disrupted. Yet, countries with modern technological and digital infrastructure, and good health and educational systems, will emerge from these trials faster. Countries using challenge of Covid-19 to accelerate their digital transformation are able continue economic activity even during a time of social distancing. There is no denying that Covid-19 is a global challenge, and a crisis of extensive magnitude. But at the ADFD, we have always focused more on solutions. Since 1971, as we have gone about funding over 1,000 projects in 94 countries, we have embraced change, empowered communities and created results with a positive attitude. Today, we continue with this approach. We will continue to be supportive, caring partners for our communities at home, and for developing countries around the world. We will continue helping create and finance technological, health and educational projects. We will support communities in creating development, economic growth and resilience that will allow them to withstand challenges such as those we face today. At home, we will continue our active role in stimulating economic growth, by expanding our development funding operations and by supporting the national economy. Thanks to technological innovation and education, we can work together rather than separately in this troubled period. As our people and communities battle this threat and show fortitude and resilience from the front lines, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development stands by them. We pay tribute to the UAE’s leadership, which is marshalling resources and leading our effective fight against this pandemic. Challenges, no matter how severe, are temporary. This too shall pass. But the march towards sustainable development, community well-being and economic empowerment continues long-term. And we will be there to help, and ensure that the world is better prepared for future challenges.