Poverty in Jamaica
Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea and the third largest island of the Greater Antilles. The country has been struggling with abject poverty for about half a century. The situation has been escalating due to higher rate of unemployment, extreme crimes and overpopulation as well as lack of sufficient resources. Jamaica has a population of approximately 2.1 million people whereby, 8.6% and 14.8% of men and women are unemployed respectively. According to the World Bank, a large proportion of the Jamaican population fall below poverty line, which is expanding due to inequality. Notably, the most vulnerable demographic is women and children as they are the dependent group.
In terms of wealth, Jamaica is the land of extremes. The wealth is distributed mostly along racial lines and class which reflects on the Jamaican social demography. For instance, in the country, the descendants of the slaves tend to be among the poorest group, whereas the descendants of the white, the owners of the plantations and traders have a better off in the country. These depict a case of inequality and discrimination as poor become more poorer as while the rich continue to amass wealth. .
In terms of facilities and amenities, the slums residents are pathetic and characterized by congestion and poor sanitation. Recent study by UNFPA has shown that due to the decline of services in the urban slums, the proportion of those population that access safe drinking water has declined from 96% to 70 %. In the slums the access to sanitation has also declined from 91 percent to 74 percent. In the past 30 years the development in Jamaica has remained slow and this is one of the many factors that lead to poverty continuous poverty in the country.
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Furthermore. The situation in the urban centers is not different from that of rural regions where the poor faces difficulties as they struggling with small scale forming which yield insufficient foods. In many cases these workers participate in the informal economy and in some cases they involve themselves in the drug trade as a way of earning income.
Corruption in the government is also another factor that has worsened the situation as the huge sums of money are embezzled by the politicians which could be used in the creation of industries and infrastructure that could boost the economy. Corruption has increased by the good relationship between the Jamaican officials and the crime groups. This has not only hurts law abiding citizens of Jamaica but it makes the foreign investors far from investing in the country. Poverty in this country is also increased by the fact many poor families do not take their children to school. This is caused by the fact that public schools are not entirely free and many of these families cannot afford to take their children to schools. This situation is contumacy increasing and worsening the situation because these children tend to involve themselves in crime activities.
Despite the poverty situation in Jamaica the World Bank has a positive view for the economy of this country. The World Bank is on help to help in economy development in the country. In addition, the government of Jamaica is currently working with the European nations such Netherlands and Denmark to curb the poverty through both micro and macro-economic strategies. This has seen as improvement as at the year 2015 Jamaica jumped 27 places in the business ranking as the government has improved its credit rating and had decreased the national debt.
With all these efforts from the government and other unions such as the European nation the rate of poverty in Jamaica is gradually decreasing. The World Bank has also made some efforts to decline the rate of poverty in this country. If only the government of Jamaica take action against the corruption in this country then it will be very easy Jamaica to end the poverty. Also with the recent increase in number of foreign investors is seen a start of an end to the poverty in Jamaica.