Overview At just 166 square miles with 287,375 residents, Barbados is the most densely populated country in the Eastern Caribbean. The country is characterised by relatively high human development, a stable political climate, strong governance systems and high levels of transport and technological connectivity.
Thanks to ongoing support from the Government and people of Barbados, the island hosts the UNDP Multi-Country Office which serves seven independent countries and three British Overseas Territories in the Eastern Caribbean.
The UNDP programme portfolio in Barbados spans two of the four outcomes of the UN’s regional Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF).These two outcomes are building climate resilience and improving data-driven decision-making for enhanced citizen security. In this regard, UNDP’s work in Barbados is focused on sustainable energy, disaster recovery, the blue economy and citizen security.
Currently, UNDP is supporting the COVID-19 emergency response in Barbados partnering with the Government in the production of an Economic and Human Development Impact Assessment, with the collaboration of UNICEF and UN Women. The support package of UNDP will include assistance to SMEs who wish to reinvent themselves through online, digital and HomeSafe delivery business lines and a collaboration with the local private sector to develop an economic recovery strategy.
In conjunction with national stakeholders in the energy sector, UNDP is assisting Barbados in its efforts to meet its international commitments to reduce fossil fuel dependence and its national goal to be 100% renewable by 2030. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), supports these efforts by implementing initiatives which strengthen the renewable energy policy framework and develop sector capacities such as the deployment of solar photovoltaic systems at emergency shelters and healthcare facilities. At the community level, the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) supports locally-based projects in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of land degradation, protection of international waters, and the reduction of the impact of chemicals and waste. These projects seek to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.
UNDP is also working with local partners to improve disaster recovery planning through the strengthening of national recovery frameworks. This involves building the capacity of national stakeholders to undertake Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PNDAs) as well as improving community resilience through local training in emergency response. All of these interventions are guided by the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy and focus on empowering women to take a more proactive role in emergencies.
The Barbados MCO is also home to the Global Accelerator Lab on Blue Economy and Sustainable Management of Ocean Degradation, which aims to promote out-of-the-box thinking and experimentation to support Small Island Development States (SIDS) in the sustainable development of their ocean-based economic sectors. The Accelerator Lab is working with multiple partners, and to date has identified several key opportunities related to renewable energy, fisheries, biotechnology, waste management, tourism and innovative sustainable development financing. Additionally, through the Blue Economists Programme, the University of the West Indies and UNDP are collaborating with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy to conduct a Blue Economy scoping study. This study will provide a preliminary assessment of current blue sectors and identify opportunities for growth and development in the future.
Citizen security is another key focal area; UNDP, with the support of USAID is working with national stakeholders in the justice sector to execute the CariSECURE project locally. CariSECURE, which has been implemented in eight Eastern and Southern Caribbean countries, aims to strengthen the integrity and accessibility of citizen security data and to improve the decision-making process in Caribbean public institutions by transforming quantitative data into useful qualitative information. This will enable public servants to make data-informed decisions and to use the information to develop policies and programmes that address key crime and violence problems identified in the data.
For more information on Barbados, please view the Human Development Report Briefing Note for this country.
Did you know?
At $0.26/kWh in 2020, Barbados has one of the highest electricity costs in the world.
To contact the UNDP office in Barbados, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org