The recent natural catastrophes have worsened the already critical economic situation of some Caribbean nations, a senior UN official said Thursday.
Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said many Caribbean countries have now become even more vulnerable due to the global economic crisis and natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes over recent years.
In 2009, the Caribbean region's economy registered a decrease of 2.
1 percent, Barcena said in a statement issued during the 23rd session of the Development and Cooperation Committee of the Caribbean, held this week in Grenade.
The average rate of the public debt of the member states of the Caribbean Community was 76.
5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009.
However, in countries like Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and St.
Kitts and Nevis, the debt/GDP ratios surpassed 100 percent.
The restrictions set for the growing public debt and the low international reserves have limited the Caribbean governments' capabilities to boost their economies, said the statement.