Posted by: nastylittletruths | May 4, 2011

Left Behind

I only heard about this by reading news coverage on the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 attempted coup… I know that the Bajans were ahead – and kudos to them – but didn’t know that it was recognised… Left behind because of our petty and divisive attitudes.

And for the readers who pay attention, while I speak of physical infrastructure being an important component in a country’s development, BGI hit the all important target first – human development. Double kudos to them, double shame for us.

To keep this in perspective, I always point to two things – we are still building a cricket stadium for the 2007 Cricket World Cup while Barbados hosted the finals of that year’s tournament and when the first Indian import ‘slave’ workers were discovered living in sub-humane conditions, the authorities were on it like white on rice. I always remember a good Bajan friend’s comment on the brouhaha, “no, not in Barbados…” The difference between them and us was unmistakable…

November 8, 2010 (

Nation News reports that Barbados has joined the ranks of the world’s “developed” nations in terms of providing people with an excellent quality of life. Barbados was the only country in the Caribbean and Latin America to be thus labeled. The article points out that, with the exception of the Bahamas, Barbados outspends all of its Caribbean neighbors in providing health care for each resident and it has one of the lowest murder rates in the region.

The Human Development Index (HDI) measures performances in health, education, income, and other quality of life indices. Based on the HDI, Barbados, which has been called the “Singapore of the Caribbean,” joins such countries as Israel, Hong Kong, Singapore, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Lichtenstein, Bahrain, Qatar, Andorra, San Marino, Brunei Darussalam, Monaco, United Arab Emirates, and Estonia on the list of “developed” countries.

All of Barbados’ CARICOM neighbors, including energy-rich Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent, Suriname, Haiti, Guyana, and Grenada were listed as “developing” states.

UN Development Program’s Helen Clark explains, “On one crucial point the evidence is compelling and clear: there is much that countries can do to improve the quality of people’s lives even under adverse circumstances. Many countries have made great gains in health and education despite only modest growth in income, while some countries with strong economic performance have failed to make similarly impressive progress in life expectancy.”

In the vital area of health, the UN report put Barbados’ per capita expenditure on health care at $1,265 in 2007, a figure that was only surpassed in the region by the Bahamas with $1,987. Trinidad and Tobago had a per capita expenditure of $1,178.

For full article, see


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