The Caribbean, Uniquely Vulnerable to COVID-19, May Take Years to Recover

A man rests in the shade against a wall covered with a mural of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, in Havana, Cuba, June 8, 2020 (AP photo by Ramon Espinosa).
A man rests in the shade against a wall covered with a mural of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, in Havana, Cuba, June 8, 2020 (AP photo by Ramon Espinosa).
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A recent history of natural disasters and its longstanding dependence on tourism have left the Caribbean extremely ill-prepared to address the economic effects of COVID-19. Caribbean economies were already highly indebted after calamities ranging from hurricanes to earthquakes to the destructive effects of higher sea levels stemming from climate change in the past few years. Those natural disasters have left most of the region’s economies with poor and declining credit ratings, limiting their borrowing capacity and their ability to mobilize resources against the pandemic. And if it hasn’t already, the sharp drop in tourism stemming from the pandemic will undoubtedly […]

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