The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and inequalities in Caribbean society, including with regard to access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and education services, food insecurity, and the situation of women and girls given the significant increase in gender-based violence. It has also posed a considerable challenge to governments, already burdened by high levels of public debt and debt service payments, to provide support to struggling businesses and to the increasing numbers of unemployed, particularly those in the informal sector.
This edition of The Caribbean Outlook offers perspectives on how the subregion might address the challenges of response, recovery and resilience-building in the wake of the pandemic, including strategies to ensure that States’ commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway are fulfilled.
The fundamental challenge facing all Caribbean societies is primarily to protect citizens from the disease, support households and businesses and access the resources available domestically and internationally to do so, even as governments have limited fiscal space. At the same time, ongoing economic, social and environmental issues require a renewed effort to build resilience in the very different post-COVID-19 world.