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This study analyzes the characteristics and causes of poverty in 15 Caribbean countries -Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago- and reviews the experiences in poverty alleviation efforts that countries have pursued. It finds poverty rising and living standards falling in several countries, linked to low economic growth, labor market deficiencies, a deterioration in the quality of health and education services, an increase in crime and violence, retrenchment of workers, and a drop in the real value of social safety nets. Based on analyzing how macroeconomics and social policies can be further oriented to reduce poverty and promote human resource development, the study recommends focusing on ensuring an enabling environment and prioritizing programs and policies aimed at poverty reduction and human resource development. Specifically, the region should facilitate new employment opportunities, address the problem of crimes and violence, ensure good governance, and develop new partnership among central government, local government, nongovernmental organizations, community-based organizations, labor unions, the private sector, and the international community.

Publisher: World Bank

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