Despite the impression that holiday operators to the Caribbean Islands want us to believe in their brochures, poverty still persists throughout the region.
Across the region 36 per cent of the population are classed as poor. Whereas in countries like Belize, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts, Dominica, almost 35% – 45% of the total population is living below the poverty line. It has increased in countries that have had low or negative growth rates for protracted periods such as Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
According to the study, “Child Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean,” produced by ECLAC and UNICEF in 2010, almost 45 per cent of the population under the age of 18 years is living in poverty in the region.
In many of these countries, poverty has given rise to increased school absenteeism, and deteriorating literacy and numeracy rates, furthering the cycle of unemployment and increased crime.
Many struggle to survive daily in conditions way beyond our comprehension.
There is little or no food, no water, no electricity, and no toilets.
Many people are still living in sweltering, overcrowded shacks.
The Shacks are with rusted out zinc roofs that have plastic bags stuffed into gaping holes to keep the rain out.
They are also with rotting floors and little ventilation.