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Concerns over rising murder rate in the Caribbean

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Homicides in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are expected to rise to alarming levels and the Eastern Caribbean islands could see an increase in murders currently resembling those reported in Jamaica.

That is the prediction of a report which looks at the Caribbean in 2050 based on its current development path.

The report; “Achieving a Resilient Future for Small States: Caribbean 2050” considers current policies and trends in six Caribbean countries — Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana — made a 34-year projection across different sectors.

The report was released at the Fourth Global Biennial Conference on Small States in Seychelles last week.

The report predicts that if nothing changes, the Caribbean in 2050 will face unmanageable debt, poor growth and greater socio-economic problems.

The report said: “Five out of the six countries under study would have a debt-to-gross domestic product ratio for l00 percent while for two countries this could exceed 200 percent.”

With interest on debt reducing funds for development, the report predicts that when combined with the slowdown in growth in the medium term due to declining competitiveness, Caribbean countries would face worsening socio-economic condition.

The report said crime and disorder is forecast to rise in the region.

It noted that youth unemployment and underemployment contribute to inadequate human and social capital development and a rising crime rate.

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