hunger in grenadaGrenada is a small cluster of Caribbean islands, with the largest one being home to the country’s capital, St. George’s. Grenada has a population of about 112,500 people, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Although Grenada is considered a middle-income country, 38% of its residents live below the poverty line, meaning that the number of people living in hunger is also a serious issue. Read on to learn about the past and present history of hunger in Grenada.

A Turbulent Past

After President Ronald Reagan ordered the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada, invading forces murdered Grenada’s leader along with 208 residents of the islands. Although those involved in the invasion were punished, the country’s difficult history continues. Grenada was one of the countries hit hardest by hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005). Nearly 95% of all Grenada’s buildings were affected, which decimated the country’s annual GDP, thus putting Grenadians in a vulnerable situation. The impact of the hurricanes forced the government to shift its attention to rebuilding the country rather than tending to widespread hunger in Grenada.

By 2008, Grenada’s average growth rate had reached impressive levels considering the destruction it had endured. The country even began to see the emergence of a middle class. Despite these movements in the right direction, Grenada was one of the countries most likely to go into massive debt in 2012, mainly due to loan disputes with Thailand concerning the tourism industry.

Sustainable Development Goals

One of the most effective ways to evaluate hunger in Grenada is through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Of the 17 goals, Grenada is only struggling with two. Although it is important to recognize the progress Grenada has made toward the 15 other goals, Grenada has made little progress toward completely eliminating hunger. The second goal, “Zero Hunger,” is in the worst shape out of all 17 goals currently. Without adequate funding or direction to help this goal, much of the country will continue to live in hunger.

Grenada’s struggles with goal 15, “Life on Land,” also contribute to its hunger problems. This goal deals with the degradation of habitats and biodiversity, which leads to an increased level of widespread hunger. Such intense degradation impacts the hunger situation because the destruction of habitats destroys fertile farmland as well. This inhibits Grenadians’ access to adequate food sources.

Combating the Issue

One promising United Nations initiative, the “Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative,” works toward the second Sustainable Development Goal. The Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Forestry, Fisheries and Environment began this initiative in 2013. By 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization had given $11,308,00 to significantly diminish hunger in Grenada. The Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative worked to improve economic diversification across the workforce, implement school feeding programs and collaborate with neighboring islands to accomplish a mutually beneficial outcome. Although this program helped hunger in Grenada, it ended in 2019, and the U.N. has collected almost no data since the end of the program to determine how successful it was. Hunger in Grenada therefore likely remains a problem.

– Natalie Tarbox
Photo: Flickr

Healthcare in Grenada
Located off of the coast of Venezuela, the island of Grenada is a Caribbean nation with over 110,000 citizens. Grenada gained its independence from Britain in 1974 and emerged from Marxist rule by the early 1980s. As a relatively young constitutional monarchy, Grenada has endured political strife, natural crises and extreme poverty. The consequences of such factors have left many Grenadians in challenging conditions.

Healthcare in Grenada has improved dramatically in recent years but still has a critical need for expansion. Comprehensive healthcare in Grenada, a political and humanitarian dilemma for decades, has emerged as one of the nation’s key goals. Its government and nonprofits have made progress in recent years providing care for hundreds of thousands.

Developing Goals

Healthcare funding and goals are dynamic: Grenada’s public healthcare system, overseen by its Ministry of Health, includes 36 primary care facilities, 30 satellite care facilities, three hospitals and one psychiatric hospital. Primarily funded through general taxation, healthcare in Grenada also receives support through grants from the E.U. through the Primary Health care and Caribbean Development Bank Basic Need Program (BNTF) and by The Caribbean Public Health Agency.

These government and humanitarian entities have collaborated to bolster Grenada’s preventative healthcare, laboratory diagnosing and testing capacity. In 2015, the Ministry of Health released a healthcare action plan. By 2017, the WHO pledged its support for the plan by releasing a Grenadian Cooperation Strategic Agenda for 2018-2024 with bolstered resources for the nation. Grants also target specific public health goals, such as the current objective to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Within communities, NGOs have translated much of that funding into tangible community health improvements. For example, Grenada National Organization of Women educates women about sexual and reproductive health and provides HIV prevention resources.

A Dynamic System

The public and private healthcare sectors support each other: In 2014, healthcare in Grenada made up 6.1% of the total GDP, yet 53.6% of that was from the private sector. With a total GDP of $911.5 million in 2014, roughly $55.6 million of that derived from the public healthcare sector and over half of that amount from the private sector. Based on the population of over 108,000 that year, less than 20 cents per capita was dedicated to public healthcare in Grenada in 2014.

The healthcare system in Grenada, mimicking a universal healthcare system, leverages those who can afford private sector healthcare to help keep costs low for its public expenditure, allocating 10%-12% of its total budget on healthcare between 2008 and 2014. The gaps in Grenada’s current healthcare systems leave both the wealthy without luxury services and the vulnerable without basic care. Without these gaps, the lucrative private sector could not thrive.

The Work that Remains

Health has improved but some populations remain vulnerable: a history of poor children’s health outcomes has led Grenada’s healthcare system to intervene earlier in the population. Grenada now has a relatively low infant mortality rate of 10.3 deaths per 1,000 births. It also has a 95%-100% essential vaccination coverage rate in its primary schools, with more healthcare in primary and secondary schools. Additionally, wasting rates in children dropped from 7.9% in 2011 to 3.4% by 2014.

Now, chronic and non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, have emerged as the main cause of death and morbidity in Grenada. Risk factors for these diseases include overconsumption of alcohol, poor nutrition, obesity, lack of physical activity and hypertension. In rural areas, risk factors for chronic and non-communicable diseases are more prevalent than in urban Grenada. As of 2019, upwards of 71,000 Grenadians lived in rural areas, predominantly below the poverty line.

Despite healthcare in Grenada otherwise improving, medically vulnerable rural Grenadians essentially exist outside the mainstream economy. They lack access to efficient and consistent medical treatment and consequently have worse health outcomes than their wealthier urban counterparts.

Socioeconomic factors within and medical outcomes derived from systems of healthcare in Grenada have undoubtedly improved. Still, the Grenadian government grapples with implementing a universal healthcare system. Life-saving preventative and emergency treatments remain inaccessible for the most vulnerable populations. Grenada continues to receive essential support from NGOs and humanitarian and public health organizations implement action plans. A shift in healthcare equity will alleviate the financial and medical conditions that negatively impact hundreds of thousands of Grenadians.

– Caledonia Strelow
Photo: DVIDS

Homelessness in Grenada
Grenada, known as the Spice Island, gained its independence from the United Kingdom in February 1974. Located in the Caribbean between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Grenada has been able to reach upper-middle-income class status. However, despite its efforts to advance as a country, Grenada stills suffers from poverty, which contributes to homelessness.

Reports have stated that Grenada has had over 60,000 homeless people since Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004. Countries like the U.S. have shown involvement and support for Grenada’s progression with its support for Grenadian security forces. However, despite Grenada’s vigorous efforts to advance its security along with its educational and economic systems, homelessness remains a continued problem and concern for Grenadians for the following reasons.

4 Causes of Homelessness in Grenada

  1. Poverty is one of the reasons for homelessness in Grenada. Grenada is a country that relies on tourism and St. Georges University for income. Grenada has fought hard to provide resources for its citizens, and currently, estimates determine there is a total of 113,094 people living in Grenada. As of 2017, the poverty rate in Grenada was at 13%. Poverty and homelessness lead to the need for people to have a steady income to be able to manage to lives in their homes. While living in Grenada, one can find themselves spending at most $1,184.30 a month on rent.
  2. Unemployment is another issue that contributes to homelessness in Grenada. If there is no work, there is no income. The unemployment rate in Grenada was at 24% in 2017.
  3. Additionally, natural disasters can happen at any given moment. Because of where Grenada is located, it is prone to natural disasters. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides and more are all-natural threats that affect people living in Grenada. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan, a category 3 storm, ruined 80% of the homes in Grenada and left thousands homeless.
  4. Violence also causes homelessness in Grenada. There were 1,630 reported cases of sexual assault between 2000 to 2010. This shows how violence in Grenada has continued to be an issue. The three significant types of violent abuse in Grenada are sexual, gender-based and domestic violence.

Solutions for Homelessness in Grenada

In spite of the causes, in an effort to fight homelessness, The Trinity Foundation emerged in 2017 to assist families in need in Grenada. With this organization, founder Shernette Streete provides hot meals to homeless people around the community with the help of volunteers. The money the organization receives to provide the homeless people of Grenada with hot meals comes primarily from fundraisers and donations whether it be money or food. The goal of the organization is to eventually build stationary soup kitchens.

Along with The Trinity Foundation, aid from Food For The Poor has also contributed to helping those who are homeless. This organization helps provide housing and food for people who are in severe need of resources in the community. Food For The Poor has built over 85,400 homes for families in need of safe shelter.

Grenada is a county that is advancing politically, economically and socially to the best of its ability. There have been many contributions to Grenada throughout the years. However, citizens of Grenada continue to be victims of unaffordable housing, poverty, natural disasters and more, which all lead to homelessness in Grenada. Through The Trinity Foundation’s and Food For The Poor’s continued efforts, hopefully homelessness in Grenada will reduce.

Amanda Cruz
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Poverty in Grenada
Many know Grenada, an island country in the Caribbean Sea, for its beautiful tourist attractions and flourishing spice trade. Unfortunately, poverty in Grenada affects almost one-third of its 107,000 residents.

The World Bank estimates that 32% of Grenada’s residents live below the poverty line. In addition, 13% of the population is considered “extremely poor.”

Dr. Elinor Garely of eTN noted that Grenada’s poorest residents are located in the rural regions of the country. She explained that this is due to inadequate access to the mainstream economy.

The mainstream economy is based on tourism and spice exportation, among other products. Grenada also depends on foreign aid. Without suitable access to the main cities and these economic opportunities, the rural communities suffer.

Youth in Grenada

Grenada’s demographic is quite young, with one-fourth of the population under the age of 14. Poverty in Grenada impacts youth most of all. In fact, Garely explained that 66.4% of the poor are under 24 years of age.

Due to a lack of birth control resources, there are high numbers of teen pregnancies, which often correlates to violence against children. Additionally, physical and sexual abuse have emerged as the main issues facing the children of Grenada. More than one-third of children in Grenada have suffered from sexual violence. Women and children experience significant abuse due to the lack of laws against physical punishment.

Causes of Poverty in Grenada

Poverty in Grenada has links with a number of different factors. With inadequate defenses against natural disasters, ineffective education and unprepared workers, poverty is “entrenched in the very fiber of the country.”

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, frequently threaten the small island. The last two hurricanes occurred in 2004 and 2005. Hurricane Ivan hit first and devastated the majority of Grenadian homes. A year later, Hurricane Emily swept through the area, furthering the damage not yet repaired from Hurricane Ivan. However, significantly fewer lives were lost, as the Grenadian people took important precautions that had been neglected during Hurricane Ivan.

Education and unprepared workers are two other causes of poverty in Grenada, and they go hand in hand. Without proper education, the youth do not have the necessary skills to get jobs that offer livable pay. The jobs that are available, mainly agricultural, do not appeal to the youth because of “perceived instability, [the youths’] lack of interest in physical labor and very low wages,” according to Garely. It would be more beneficial for the Grenadian youth to work in the tourism sector, but, unfortunately, it requires skills that many residents lack.

Efforts to Reduce Poverty in Grenada

The government is making strides to alleviate many of the issues that stem from or cause poverty in Grenada. While it currently lacks enough funds to be effective, Grenada does have “a system to place orphans and children with domestic problems with other families.” In addition, laws are in place to protect girls from sexual assault. However, boys still remain vulnerable.

The country has taken important steps to defend against natural disasters. Creating a plan for natural disasters became a priority after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Emily. The change was obvious immediately due to how the people of Grenada reacted differently to Hurricane Emily after experiencing Hurricane Ivan; “the rush contrasted with the attitude before Ivan, when Grenadians took few precautions.”

While Grenada is still improving its ability to defend against natural disasters and internal issues such as violence, it has wonderful potential.

Abbey Lawrence
Photo: Flickr

Life expectancy in Grenada
Grenada is a country in the Caribbean composed of seven islands. This former British colony attained its independence in 1974, making Grenada one of the smallest independent nations in the western hemisphere. Nicknamed historically as the “spice isle,” Grenada’s traditional exports included sugar, chocolate and nutmeg. From 1979 to 1983, Grenada went through a period of political upheaval, which ended when a U.S.-led coalition invaded the island. Today, Grenada is a democratic nation that is working to ensure the health and well-being of its citizens. Here are nine facts about life expectancy in Grenada.

9 Facts About Life Expectancy in Grenada

  1. The World Bank’s data showed that, as of 2017, life expectancy in Grenada was 72.39 years. While there was a rapid increase in life expectancy from 1960 to 2006, life expectancy decreased from 2007 to 2017.  However, the CIA estimates that this metric will increase to 75.2 years in 2020.
  2. Non-communicable diseases constitute the leading cause of death in Grenada. According to 2016 WHO data, non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes constituted the majority of premature death in Grenada. Cardiovascular diseases, which constituted 32 percent of all premature deaths, were the leading cause of death in 2016.
  3. Grenada’s infant mortality rate stands at 8.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. This is a significant improvement from 21.2 infant deaths out of 1,000 in 1985 and 13.7 deaths out of 1,000 in 2018.
  4. Grenada has universal health care. Health care in Grenada is run by the Ministry of Health (MoH). Through the MoH, the Grenadan government helps finance medical care in public institutions. Furthermore, if an individual wishes to purchase private health insurance, there are several options to choose from.
  5. Around 98 percent of people in Grenada have access to improved drinking water. However, water scarcity still plagues many people in Grenada due to erratic rainfall, climate change and limited water storage. To remedy this, Grenada launched a $42 million project in 2019 with the goal of expanding its water infrastructure. This includes plans to retrofit existing systems.
  6. Hurricanes and cyclones pose a threat to life expectancy in Grenada. While in recent years Grenada has not been significantly affected by a hurricane, Grenadians still remember the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan (2004) and Hurricane Emily (2005). Hurricane Ivan caused an estimated $800 million worth of damage. In the following year, Hurricane Emily caused an additional $110 million damage. On top of 30 deaths caused by these natural disasters, the damage they inflicted on Grenada’s infrastructure and agriculture can have further harmful ramifications for the people of Grenada.
  7. The Grenadian government is taking measures to improve the country’s disaster risk
    management (DRM). With the help of organizations such as the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), Grenada is recovering from the devastation of 2004 and 2005. In 2010, for example, GFDRR conducted a risk management analysis which helped the preparation of a $26.2 million public infrastructure investment project by the World Bank in Grenada.
  8. The Grenadian government’s 2016-2025 health plan aims to strengthen life expectancy in Grenada. One of the top priorities of this framework is to ensure that health services are available, accessible and affordable to all citizens. Another goal surrounds addressing challenges for the most vulnerable groups in society such as the elderly, children and women.
  9. Grenada received a vaccination award from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). In November of 2014, PAHO awarded Grenada the Henry C. Smith Award for Immunization, which is presented to the country that has made the most improvement in their immunization programs. PAHO attributed this success to Community Nursing Health teams and four private Pediatricians in Grenada.

The Grenadian government is committed to providing the best quality of life for its citizens. However, there is still room for improvement. The prevalence of premature death caused by cardiovascular diseases suggests that Grenada needs to promote healthier life choices for its citizens. With the continued support and observation by the Grenadian government, many hope that life expectancy in Grenada will increase in the future.

YongJin Yi
Photo: Flickr

Credit Access in Grenada
Grenada is a small, densely populated island located in the southern Caribbean. The country is often nicknamed “Spice Isle” for its legacy of exceptional spice production. In recent years, Grenada has had stable economic growth averaging more than 5 percent annually, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the region. However, its location within the hurricane belt and its heavy reliance on commodity exports make the country vulnerable to economic shocks caused by natural disasters and market fluctuations.

Financial Infrastructure

Grenada has two main bodies regulating its financial operations. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is a regional body established in 1983 in order to maintain the stability of the eastern Caribbean currency and the integrity of the banking system. The ECCB serves as Grenada’s central bank, setting the country’s monetary supplies, lending rates and enforcing regulations upon the banking sector. A second body, the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN), was introduced in 2007 by an act of parliament for the regulation of the non-bank financial sector that includes insurance agencies, credit unions, pension schemes and other financial services.

Credit Access Constraints

In addition to having a firm regulatory system, Grenada currently has five commercial banks and 10 credit unions operating in the country that offer a range of credit options for individuals and businesses. However, with around 65 percent of the country’s population living outside of urban settings, along with unattractive interest rates and a risk-averse corporate climate, credit access in Grenada remains an obstacle to equal and sustainable development. In fact, a recent report by the World Bank ranked Grenada 130th out of 189 countries in terms of access to credit. Similarly, a 2013 report by the Caribbean Development Bank cites lack of access to credit as one of three widely recognized constraints to the development of the private sector.

Grenada Development Bank

Being aware of the lingering issues, the government established the Grenada Development Bank (GDB) in a concentrated effort to improve credit access in Grenada. Overseen by GARFIN, the development bank was created to serve five core purposes:

  • Expand the development enterprises.
  • Assist with high education costs.
  • Foster the development of capital markets.
  • Mobilize and coordinate resources for financing industrial and agricultural projects.
  • Provide loans for home construction and renovation.

The bank operates under close government oversight to ensure it is guided primarily by Grenada’s development needs. Although in existence since 1976, GDB has undergone a series of structural revisions and has recently seen significant improvements to both its profits and its lending contributions. In an interview with the OECS Business Focus magazine, GDB Managing Director, Mervyn Lord, said the role of the bank is to finance the gap in the economy, thereby providing the only financing option for a whole range of Grenadians who do not qualify for commercial or credit union loans.

For instance, GDB offers mortgages to homebuyers who can demonstrate their ability to make monthly repayments even though they do not have the available funds to pay a deposit. Lord also added that GDB tries to accommodate borrowers by reducing red tape requirements and accepting any source of capital (rather than just cash) to secure business loans.

Future of Credit Access in Grenada

While many development indicators are pointing in the right direction for Grenada, there are still steps that need to be taken to safeguard its recent growth. A 2018 IMF report commends the Grenadine authorities for strengthening the financial system but advises that GARFIN improves its data monitoring and stress-testing system. Although a sign of improved credit access in Grenada, the rapid uptick seen in credit union lending could lead to high default rates if not closely monitored and regulated.

– Jamie Wiggan

Photo: Flickr

In Grenada, education does not differ much between boys and girls. The gender parity index (GPI) was only 0.98 in 2015, which means that there was only a slightly larger number of boys, compared to girls, enrolled in primary and secondary education in Grenada. However, because violence against women and girls is a big issue in Grenada, girls are often deprived of the education they deserve and need in order to survive.

There are several organizations and individuals who are working to better girls’ education in Grenada. These organizations assist girls through helping to implement effective programming for their education, as well as giving them resources to use whenever needed.

The Girl Guides Association of Grenada

Girl guiding was introduced to Grenada in 1925 when the first Guide company was established at the Church of England High School. Guiding is now very active in Grenada, mostly through schools, with a few through churches and communities. In 2017, there were more than two thousand girl guides helping young Grenadian girls recognize their full potential.

Kisha Miller has been a member of this organization and a girl guide for the past 20 years. She is now a Unit Leader and an Assistant District Commissioner at Boca secondary school in Grenada. Miller believes that education can be used to change how women are treated in her country, especially in terms of gender-based violence.

Miller also believes that non-formal education is important for girls. She is excited to use the Voices Against Violence curriculum in her country, which will provide her with the tools to start important conversations about the main causes of violence against women and girls with the group of 35 girls she teaches, as well as with all the girls within the Girl Guides Association of Grenada.

Room to Read Accelerator

This organization was established to spread their knowledge of girls’ education to a wider audience in order to maximize their impact around the world. The focus of this offshoot of Room to Read is to offer technical assistance and to share resources and expertise by providing training materials, workshops, periodic support and monitoring. These projects typically last two to three years and will provide girls with all the support and necessities they need to progress through school.

In 2015, Room to Read Accelerator started a three-year long partnership with Grenada. This partnership is through Grenada’s Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Grenada Schools, Inc. Their goal is to design a wide-reaching, cost-effective and sustainable program by 2018 that forms good reading habits and skills at all 56 of Grenada’s government primary schools. This program will benefit 11,000 students throughout this Caribbean country.

Organizations, like the Girl Guides Association of Grenada and Room to Read Accelerator, provide girls with the knowledge and tools to be able to progress successfully through school, as well as have what they need to succeed in life. Girls’ education in Grenada has been enormously improved by these establishments because of the large number of girl guides that are in Grenada and the large impact that the Room to Read Accelerator program has had on Grenadian students.

– Megan Maxwell
Photo: Flickr

sustainable agriculture in Grenada

The small island nation of Grenada is located off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. Independent since 1974, its history has long been tied to the dark side of agriculture. Colonized in the 16th century by the French, they grew sugarcane on plantations owned by colonists and run by slaves. The British took the island in 1762 and expanded sugarcane production. Now the people of Grenada are moving into the future. In the twenty-first century, sustainable agriculture in Grenada is the goal.

The future of any nation lies with its children. The younger generations always hold the key to the future, but it is the duty of the older generations to lead by example. In Grenada, the government, in cooperation with the island’s 4H clubs and the World Bank, began an initiative to educate children about the importance of sustainable agriculture in 2016. The program is called “The Pilot Programme on Integrated Climate Change Adaptation strategies”. Its goal is to teach Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) to children in Grenada. To reach this goal, members of the government team and 4H members are trained in CSA techniques and lecture in schools across Grenada. These techniques are as simple as planting crops for home use among trees and other indigenous plants and saving rainwater.

Educating the population about these techniques is important to sustainable agriculture in Grenada. The small island nation is susceptible to hurricanes, which can cause massive damage to the island both physically and economically. Heavy rain and strong winds cause erosion. On a small island, any erosion can be dangerous. The World Bank emphasizes CSA techniques that promote smart land use. First on their list is no-burn agriculture. In slash and burn agriculture, a field or forest is cleared using fire and crops are planted in the ashes. Although the soil is highly nutritious for the crops, this technique causes mass erosion. Forests help to hold soil in place during storms.

Proof that programs and sustainable agricultural techniques work can be found on the farm of Yacouba Toussain. Toussain runs a farm that operates using only CSA techniques. His farm grows Scotch Bonnet peppers. Solar power and wind turbines completely power his electric irrigation system. The benefit of an electric irrigation system is that the system is designed to only use a predetermined amount of water so as not to be wasteful. Toussain’s farm uses a drip irrigation system fed from a water tank. 

Toussain’s power system also uses batteries so that his farm is not connected to the power grid. The cost of energy is high in Grenada, meaning that advanced farming techniques, especially irrigation, are difficult for many people to attempt. Toussain hopes that he can lead by example and others will follow suit. Systems like Toussain’s meet almost all of the World Bank’s CSA goals. In the future, it hopes to invest in ways to make it feasible for more farmers to follow in Toussan’s footsteps.

As Sustainable agriculture in Grenada gains momentum, hopefully more farms like Toussain’s will be seen around Grenada; not only small farms but also commercial farms. These farms would be both environmentally and economically friendly, encouraging prosperity throughout the nation.

– Nick DeMarco

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to grenada

In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan tore through Grenada, leaving 90 percent of homes ruined, causing over three dozen fatalities and freeing an unidentified number of convicts when a prison was destroyed. With constant looting and marauders on the loose, people left on the island felt extremely unsafe. Grateful for outside assistance, countries’, such as Trinidad, troops were sent in to reinforce order and support police officials.

Outside Assistance

In the aftermath of Ivan, humanitarian aid to Grenada not only came from many contributors but also remains as one of the most covered topics in the country’s history. Mexico sent over 34.5 tons of humanitarian aid, including food and construction material while the Red Cross sent 22 tons containing generators and hygiene parcels.

Damages estimated about $1 billion throughout the entire island. The European Commision provided 1.2 million euros in recovery support in September 2005, a few months after category 2 Hurricane Emily passed. The funds assisted in rehabilitating or strengthening homes and offered training on how to cope with future disasters. Venezuela provided $1 million, first aid and rescue teams to assist with humanitarian aid to Grenada.

Focusing on children, UNICEF placed their efforts into improving and ensuring children’s education as well as health systems. Salvaging damaged schools and getting children back to a normal routine served as crucial components of the organization’s aid goals. “It is imperative that children return to school as soon as possible, not just to continue their education, but to give them a sense of normalcy to their topsy-turvy lives,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Representative for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean.

Return to Happiness

Thanks to UNICEF’s efforts, the psychological program “Return to Happiness” was created and provided to children living in shelters. Through puppet play, child-to-child methodology and songs as a means of psychological recovery, children of Grenada were taught coping methods to deal with calamitous events.

From various countries’ and organizations’ efforts, humanitarian aid to Grenada after Hurricane Ivan was received and immediately implemented. Although the initial aid provided did not cover the estimated damage at the time, Grenada as a whole was uplifted by kindness and continues to be ever since.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

 GrenadaThe educational system in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada is much more advanced than many other developing countries. They provide free education, meal plans and financial assistance for materials to enable families to enroll their children.

With children under age 14 making up 25 percent of the country’s population, quality education in Grenada is highly valued. Primary education is mandatory for Grenadian children from five to 16 years old. By imparting education as a necessity in society, Grenada no longer has a gender divided educational system. Requiring primary education for all children ensures the country’s future success and diverts these future young adults away from poverty.

However, Grenada’s completion rate has severely decreased in recent years. In 2009, the total completion rate of primary school was at a high of 121.1 percent, whereas 2014’s completion rate was at a record low of 89.9 percent. Around 21 percent tend to drop out once they pass the mandatory enrollment age of 16.

Perhaps one underlying factor of Grenada‘s falling completion rate is that children are legally permitted to begin working at 14 years old and have the legal ability to drop out. Other factors may be related to the poor quality of education in Grenada. Data from 2016 showed that 50 percent of students scored below average in math and 40 percent underperformed in English.

Luckily, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) added Grenada and three other countries to its partnership in 2016. GPE provided these four countries with a shared grant of $2,000,000 to improve education through 2019. GPE acknowledges that the quality of education being provided to Grenadian children is an area requiring improvement; thus, their goal is to instill a greater teaching and learning standard. By providing teachers with more advanced teaching practices, GPE is enhancing education in Grenada, which will improve students’ overall scores and may boost completion rates.

Brianna White

Photo: Flickr