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

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

Funding and Support Key to Fighting Hunger in GrenadaThe Caribbean Island of Grenada, also known as the Spice Island, is one of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere. As its name suggests, it is the world’s second-largest producer of nutmeg and also a significant producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

Hunger in Grenada is a very real issue, with the depth of hunger being reported at 250 in 2008, measured in kilocalories per person per day. In addition to this, the Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) has reported that approximately 26 percent of the population in Grenada is undernourished. The FNS also provided information in the form of FNS Need Index Scores, which has more severe problems earning higher scores. They ranked access to food to be at 75, compared to the regional average of 43. The agricultural production gap ranked 44, compared to a regional average of 50 and vulnerability was ranked 59, compared to the regional average of 45.

Despite these figures being somewhat disconcerting, there are already means being undertaken to end hunger in Grenada. This is highlighted by the Hunger-Free Initiative in Grenada by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO). The project is a follow-up to the aforementioned FNS report and its goal is to develop and implement a Zero Hunger Challenge program. They aim to accomplish this by ensuring synergies and partnerships with stakeholders, governmental institutions and donors and by facilitating coordination with other projects, programs and activities from the FAO, the government and other partner agencies.

Another way to help is by increasing funding for the FNS and other relief groups. The amount that is publicly invested into FNS aid equates to $80 per rural capita, with the national average being $134. The sources of funding come completely in the form of public investment, with none being the result of private investors.

By supporting relief organizations like the FAO and the FNS, as well as increasing funding, we can help end the fight against hunger in Grenada. The changes have already led to Ghana becoming the first Sub-Saharan African country to cut the number of people who suffer from hunger in half, which provides a successful model for making the same changes in Grenada.

Drew Fox

Photo: Flickr

Grenada Poverty Rate
Grenada prime minister Keith Mitchell said that the greatest challenge he faced was bringing down the Grenada poverty rate. This is with good reason. Although the government has implemented many developmental programs, Grenada remains poor. However, with the right determination and effort, Grenada may have hope.

Currently, the Grenada poverty rate stands at 32 percent. The country also has the highest extreme poverty rate in the eastern Caribbean, with a rate of 13 percent. It has one of the highest unemployment rates in the Caribbean as well. About 15 percent of people are out of work in Grenada.

The economic situation in Grenada is fragile. Agriculture and tourism are very important economically. Approximately 90 percent of the farms in Grenada are less than 2 hectares. This has caused the Grenada economy to fluctuate over the past couple of years. For example, in 2008 the economy grew by 2 percent, only to shrink by 8 percent in 2009.

In response to lower agricultural production, the Grenada government has implemented the Cocoa Revitalization Program. The goal of this program is to commercialize over 1,000 acres of land. The government is also planning on launching the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Rural Enterprise Programme in 2018. The goal of the program is to increase agricultural productivity through better information about climate change. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) also implemented the Grenada Rural Enterprise Project to combat Grenada’s rural problems.

The government also has several economic development programs underway. The government received $10.8 million from the IMF under the Emergency Assistance Program, which they invested into the Bridges and Roads Investment Project.

If the Grenada government continues to be dedicated to ending poverty, the Grenada poverty rate will go down. As Prime Minister Mitchell said, “The future is promising but challenging. However, together with the CDB and our non-borrowing members, we are assured that we can achieve the future we want for the people.”

Bruce Edwin Ayres Truax

Photo: Flickr

Water Quality in Grenada
Grenada is a developing island nation that resides in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. The country is made up of six smaller islands in addition to the main island of Grenada. The country depends heavily on the agricultural sector to maintain its economy. It is well known for its nutmeg and mace crops, which are sold all throughout the world. However, limited access to drinking water has made the water quality in Grenada see a decline in recent years.

The Issue of Water Access In Grenada

Growing periods of dry spells and overuse of water in Grenada has led to dropping groundwater levels. This has allowed the salt water surrounding Grenada to permeate the water layers on the island. The effect of this has been the reduction of the water quality in Grenada. Consequently, this pollution from seawater has made much of the water in the nation unusable for agriculture.

In addition to the continued pollution of the nation’s water supply, rising sea levels have resulted in an erosion of the coasts. Worse yet, hurricanes passing through the region disrupt the agricultural sector and destroy critical infrastructure that the country needs to survive.

Because Grenada depends on tourism and agriculture to maintain its economy, polluted water supply has continued to create negative economic consequences.

Possible Solutions

In conjunction with Germany’s Federal Development Agency (GiZ) and the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the water quality in Grenada has begun to improve. These organizations have partnered up with the government of Grenada to teach locals how to deepen wells and construct more sophisticated irrigation systems to ensure they will have water for the future. All of this work happens alongside education of the locals about preserving water in the water-intensive industry of tourism.

Looking Towards The Future

Although pollution continues to impact many around the world, water quality in Grenada should improve in coming years. With the help of the GiZ and IKI, the government of Grenada has a clear path to address the issue of declining levels of water in their nation. As long as they continue the plan they have created, Grenada is sure to get past this matter they are addressing.

Nick Beauchamp

Photo: Flickr

Grenada RefugeesGrenada is part of a small collection of islands in the Caribbean Sea near Venezuela. Due to the country’s small size, Grenada refugees do not face many formal regulations and protections. The following 10 facts about Grenada refugees explain how Grenada handles its refugees, the improvements the government is making for refugees and the future of refugees in Grenada.

  1. Grenada is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention. This convention served as the major legal framework for refugees as it defined the term refugee, outlined refugees’ rights and determined the legal obligations of states to protect refugees. The core principle is non-refoulement, which means that a refugee will not be returned to their country of origin if they are facing serious threats to their life or their freedom.
  2. The government of Grenada has no formal policy for recognizing refugees. There is an open policy towards migrants which allows them to remain in the country without attaining refugee status. Additionally, the Grenada constitution provides for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel and emigration.
  3. Grenada is a popular point for migrants because it allows for easy access to its neighboring islands and to South America.
  4. Most refugees to Grenada come from other islands in the Caribbean. Grenada does not receive many asylum-seekers, and as a result of the lack of formal policy regarding refugees, most asylum seekers are not documented.
  5. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determined that the only durable solutions for refugees in Grenada were voluntary repatriation or resettlement in a third country.
  6. Grenada’s economy and conditions are not ideal for mass migration. Grenada was formerly an agriculture-dependent economy that, in the last 40 years, has become a service-oriented economy. Additionally, Grenada is very vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, specifically hurricanes.
  7. Grenada has historically complied with refugees and has not violated the non-refoulement principle. In 2010 the government of Grenada agreed not to deport a family that was recognized by the UNHCR as refugees. This family was eventually resettled to a third country.
  8. Similarly in 2011, Grenada recognized a refugee family that was also resettled to a third country.
  9. In 2013 Grenada participated in a conference in conjunction with the UNHCR and other Caribbean countries called the “Regional Conference on the Protection of Vulnerable Persons in the Mixed Migration Flow.” This conference provided an open dialogue regarding migration in the Caribbean region.
  10. The UNHCR predicted in 2014 that Grenada will soon see a surge in the number of asylum-seekers.

Since Grenada is small, its migrant flow has not been overwhelming, which has allowed the Grenadian government to cooperate with migrants. As Grenada may soon expect an increase in asylum-seekers, it is imperative that the Grenadian government begins to address the rights of Grenada refugees and the country’s ability to host a refugee population.

Christiana Lano

Photo: Pixabay

Common Diseases in GrenadaA tiny island in the Caribbean, Grenada is roughly twice the size of Washington, D.C. and has a population of only 111,219 individuals. Today, the country’s economy heavily relies on tourism along with agriculture. After Hurricane Ivan, the nation struggled to rebuild and now faces enormous public debt, inhibiting further public spending. This, of course, has a negative effect on the quality of healthcare, and slows the progress of reducing the prevalence of certain diseases. Here are the most common diseases in Grenada:

Ischemic Heart Disease
A condition characterized by constricted heart arteries, causing reduced blood flow to the heart, ischemic heart disease can ultimately result in untimely heart attack. Also known as coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease was assessed to be the most fatal of the common diseases in Grenada in 2005. By 2015, it was still the most fatal, but the prevalence of deaths by the disease had actually decreased by 5.9 percent.

Cerebrovascular Disease
Cerebrovascular disease refers to any disorder affecting blood flow to the brain. Such disorders often result in aneurysms, carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis, vertebral stenosis, stroke and vascular malformations. In 2015, cerebrovascular disease was the second most fatal common disease in Grenada, and had been for the past decade. However, the disease had fortunately decreased in prevalence by 4.4 percent within those 10 years.

A disease that occurs when blood glucose is too high, diabetes can cause a myriad of other health problems, and can even lead to death. In Grenada, diabetes was the third most common cause of death, consistently from 2005 to 2015. Unfortunately, in contrast to the reduction  in prevalence of ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, diabetes became 4.5 percent more common within the decade.

In October of 2015, the government of Grenada stated that the “Grenada Diabetes Association and the Ministry of Health continue to strengthen their relationship as both entities collaborate to promote good health and wellness among the population.” In regards to heart disease, the Grenada Heart Project studies “the clinical, biological, and psychosocial determinants of the cardiovascular health in Grenada in order to develop and implement a nationwide cardiovascular health promotion program.” Clearly, the nation is dedicated to domestically addressing the most common diseases in Grenada, and hopefully this dedication will lead to more progress.

Shannon Golden

Photo: Flickr