Tourist destinations need not wait for tourists to improve their economic fortunes. This month, the European Commission announced its intention to commit €17m in humanitarian aid to address the needs of the most vulnerable in Haiti and the Caribbean, which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1994, the European Union has provided €183m in humanitarian aid to the Caribbean. This funding includes €50.8m for disaster risk reduction and community resilience.
For nearly every country around the world, the past year has been a tough one. But for economies which rely on international tourism, the year has been particularly challenging. The countries of the Caribbean have always been grateful for external support from our international friends and partners. But how can we repay them? The answer lies in building resilience for the long term, such that all visitors to our islands, including but not limited to Europeans, can enjoy the fruits of societies and economies built on strong foundations.
As the vaccine continues its rollout, and lockdowns start to lift globally, it is important for Caribbean countries to join the global effort to ‘build back better’ by investing in education and economic diversification. In countries such as ours, in which government resources are scarce and