Sunday, August 16, 2009


Poor Caribbean

According to the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB)a surprising 41 per cent of St. Lucians live on less than US$2 a day, and that 27 per cent of Surinamese, 17 per cent of Guyanese and 14 per cent of Trinidadians live on the same amount a day. Haitians top the chart with a whopping 72% of them living on less than 2 USD which translates to a situation I can hardly imagine. Given that the smallest child probably knows Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere their numbers would more arouse pity rather than shock. Also, Haiti's problems are well documented. Trinidad does not shock me since in places where there is wealth there are also pockets of appalling poverty.

On the other hand St Lucia's statistics are mindboggling. In the Windward Island(and maybe the OECS) St Lucia is often seen as the beacon with respect to development so those findings have thrown me for a loop. Having lived there I have seen levels of development that far outstrip St Vincent's but I have also seen poverty that I haven't seen here. Yet, I find it incredulous that 41% of the population is living on about $150ECD per month.That must mean a lot of persons depend on remittances or are reduced to depending on handouts or worse. Even more shocking is their numbers are even higher than the much maligned Guyanese. Can we expect to see an exodus from Lucian shores?

If this report is true then the governments and people of the Caribbean have a lot of work to do. It is unacceptable that so many people are existing on paltry wages. I think it is necessary to remind our leaders that real development is people centred.

Ps. I have been forced to use comments moderation since I've been flooded with Spam.

this is really shocking to read seeing that i spent some of my summer in st lucia and i have been visiting for the past year. that being said i rarely go outside and when i do it isn't to the poorer parts of the island. In fact even driving around the island most of these poverty stricken areas are well out of my sight.

I will have to do some further investigation as like you I thought that St. Lucia was rolling in the dough, the tourism industry seems to be kicking into full gear and the agriculture industry seems more versatile than St. VIncent's. These are all observations made from a very hasty perspective however.

but .......
do people still grow their own food or share their vegetables, fruit etc. if so its a bit easier than say a north american society where everything a fi buy.
still thats no excuse 2 dollars a day is crazy!
Wow, that's some distressing findings. I dare even think what they say about Jamaica as we are just behind Guyana right now.
That info is wrong.... No way in hell 41% of St. Lucia can be unemployed when the national unemployed avg. on that island is 18%. That 2us a day is way below they minimum wage, so you saying 41% of lucians don't work for an hr a day?? i mean come on. I really want to see the basis of this study...These people don't know what they talking about.
Maybe the stats are based on declared income for tax purposes.
I would really love to hear a response from the St Lucian authorities.That stat is too shocking so it would be nice to have a rebuttal or something.
Here is a response from the St. Lucian Government. THose figures are just not true, a place with at the begining of the year with an unemployment rate o 13% now to 17.5 due to lay offs in the tourism sextor can't be that poor.
I do agree that some of those figures must be wrong some how but it is important ro note that living on US$1 /day etc or poverty lines does not speak to wages alone...I beleive when country poverty assesments are done questions asked about remittances and all other forms of income such as paupers allowances.

So livng on less than US$2 /day included all those income sources not just wages. Often times for the population livng at that level income hardly includes wages.
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