Barbados

Barbados: Country Profile (as of May 2022)

Attachments

KEY ISSUES

INFRASTRUCTURE AND SEA LEVEL RISE

Barbados tops the Caribbean region in the quality of infrastructure index ranking 30th out of 138 countries in the quality of infrastructure index. The country also has an adequate stock of infrastructure of good quality despite its ageing. However, a large proportion of infrastructure is located near the coast and ultimately the higher intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes will have an impact on key infrastructure, particularly in the tourism sector.
Over 90 per cent of the estimated 6,000 hotel rooms in Barbados are built on the coast less than half a mile from the high-water mark and less than 20k meters above mean sea level.3

WATER SCARCITY

Barbados ranks among the top 10 most water-stressed countries in the world.6 Given the limited availability of surface water; the country is almost entirely dependent on groundwater from aquifer sources.8 In 2021, due to water scarcity Barbados began importing water from CARICOM states to meet the basic needs of the local supply.
Consequently, changing precipitation patterns and rising sea levels causing the saline intrusion are expected to affect the quantity and quality of water, potentially leading to the rise of health problems due to the lack of water available for practicing basic sanitation.9

AGRICULTURE AND FOOD INSECURITY

The declining competitiveness of agricultural products within domestic and regional markets, coupled with its overdependence on imported foods ($325 million food import bill in 2015)10, steadily rising food prices, recurrent drought conditions and global reverberations of the Ukraine crisis will likely worsen the food insecurity situation. The latest CARICOM-led survey on food security and livelihoods found that more than 48 per cent of respondents are estimated to be moderately or severely food insecure with the lowest income households being the most food insecure. Lack of financial means remains the greatest barrier for households in accessing markets. 11

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