Turks and Caicos Islands + 1 more

Turks and Caicos: Overseas Territory Profile (as of July 2020)

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COVID-19

The economy of Turks and Caicos is heavily dependent on tourism and offshore financial services. The sudden stop in tourism, which contributes more than half of GDP directly and indirectly, has had a serious impact on the jobs and livelihoods of some 15,000 people employed in hospitality related businesses. While COVID-19 cases remain low, TCI has no in country intensive care capacity, requires long lead times for procurement and delivery of medical supplies and has limited surge capacity in secondary care. The COVID-19 crisis will likely disproportionately affect Haitian migrants already living in precarious conditions.
For the most recent update on the COVID-19 caseload, see the PAHO daily reported COVID-19 data. For the latest information on curfews and other measures, click here.

KEY ISSUES

POPULATION GROWTH

Between 2001 and 2012, the population grew by 11,572 (58.2 per cent) with growth concentrated mainly on the island of Providenciales, where it is estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 people now reside due to a steady flow of irregular migration.7 Mediumterm projections estimate annual population growth of 3.7 per cent for TCI until 2027,8 which will continue to place significant pressure on land and resources, essential services and potentially fuel anti-immigrant sentiments amid deteriorating socio-economic conditions.

HAITIAN MIGRATION

Haitians constitute the largest immigrant group in TCI with a population of over 10,000, representing a third of TCI’stotal population and 80 per cent of residents in Providenciales. In TCI, 50 per cent of Haitians are either poor or at constant risk of falling into poverty, as they experience high levels of unemployment, irregular work and low wages. They also suffer from extremely poor housing conditions, lack of access to basic services, and the constant fear of being detained and deported due to illegal status, as only 20 per cent of Haitians have permanent residence in TCI.

AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY

Agricultural activities have witnessed a protracted decline over the past 30 years, largely attributed to the limited availability of arable land and low annual rainfall.6 Currently, there are only 15 full-time farmers and 80 part-time farmers, with the sector’s total annual production amounting to less than $100,000. TCI is heavily dependent on food imports, as over 90 per cent of food consumed domestically is imported. This puts TCI at risk of food insecurity and deprives the government and residents of income and jobs generated from agricultural development.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.