Clutch Recognizes Hard Beat Communications as one of the Game Changing Social Media Marketing Companies in Florida

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Oct. 31, 2023: Social media platforms continue to attract millions of millions of users from all over the world. This makes these social sites great tools for businesses and companies for their advertising and marketing efforts. Building a robust social media presence is beneficial for your brand and it can even help in attracting new customers to your business. That’s why you can’t miss this chance, team up with Hard Beat Communications today to learn more.

Your one-stop agency for subscription-only business solutions is Hard Beat Communications. Unlike other advertising and public relations firms, we provide every client with a business management platform that includes the tools they need to revolutionize their industry. With the help of their own dashboards on our own platform, Hard Beat gives our clients all the marketing tools they want for the twenty-first century in order to increase their bottom line.

On that note, our team is excited to share with you that we’ve been recently recognized as one of the game-changing Social Media Marketing Companies in Florida by Clutch themselves. We are truly honored to be a recipient of this incredible recognition! 

Just in case this is the first time you are hearing about Clutch, they are an established platform in the heart of Washington, DC, committed to helping small, mid-market, and enterprise businesses identify and connect with the service providers they need to achieve their goals.

The Hard Beat Communications team would like to extend our appreciation to Clutch for their amazing efforts in making this award possible. That’s why to truly commemorate this recognition, we decided to showcase some of the best reviews on our Clutch profile:

“Our reach has increased by over 60% within the region. The team’s straightforwardness, knowledge of the market, and flexibility were impressive.” Marvin Dubon, Sales Manager, PR Newswire

“Press event was very successful and it was covered by most of the major media outlets online. They worked very efficiently and productively and always listened to our feedback and made adjustments. The CEO is very professional and has an amazing personality. The team at the company is very productive.” 

Ask how we can make your pain go away! Our team is ready to help take your business to the next level.

Latin America, Caribbean Projected To Hit 2.3 Percent Economic Growth in 2023 and 2024

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. Oct. 30, 2023: The Caribbean and Latin America is poised to achieve a 2.3 percent growth rate in both 2023 and 2024, even as notable challenges to economic prosperity persist.

That’s the word from the Atlas Network Initiatives in Latin America, based in the United States, and the Centro de Estudios de la Realidad Económica y Social (CERES) in Uruguay. The two organization recently jointly unveiled their latest report, titled the “Latin America Macro Vista Regional Report.”

This comprehensive report delves into the economic prospects for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for the current year and the next. Here are the main takeaways:

In many aspects, LAC economies continue to trail behind their global counterparts, with the global economy forecasted to expand by three percent this year, including a robust four percent growth for emerging economies. The international context exhibits signs of intricate resilience, despite enduring issues such as high inflation and interest rates, among other unfavorable factors. For context, global economies, on average, saw growth rates of 3.8 percent over the past decade, surpassing the current economic predictions for the years to come.

The increasingly complex global landscape calls for policy adaptations by governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to address the issues of sluggish growth and development. Fortunately, history has revealed that during times of crisis and widespread uncertainty, opportunities for transformation and rejuvenation often emerge. The LAC region holds substantial potential to extend its influence in global trade by venturing into new markets beyond its traditional partners. Encouraging prospects are presented by countries like India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and others, provided the region can tap into essential export opportunities while facilitating advantageous imports and investments, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship. Given the abundance of natural resources and agricultural products, LAC economies stand uniquely positioned to reap the rewards of increased global trade.

Furthermore, the report underscores the growing prevalence of pro-market ideologies across the LAC region. Despite Argentina grappling with over-indebtedness, persistent macroeconomic imbalances, and distortionary taxation within a relatively closed economy in recent years, there is room for optimism. The outcomes of Argentina’s August presidential primaries indicate a positive shift. During the presidential election cycle in Argentina, policy proposals inspired by the Austrian School of Economics have gained prominence in public discourse, favoring economic liberalism, particularly at a time when it is needed most.

Dr. Roberto Salinas-León, Executive Director of Atlas Network’s Initiatives in Latin America, emphasized, “In Latin America and the Caribbean, the path forward, in light of today’s adversity and uncertainty, is to embrace reforms promoting free-market principles and to build upon the successes of economic liberalization. While the projection suggests economic growth for LAC in 2023 and 2024, the region has not yet fully realized its potential. This underscores the importance of policymakers in the region championing open markets, with a particular focus on global trade. Global trade should be a central policy concern this year and beyond, and we encourage all LAC governments to leverage their vast export potential.”

Blue Diamond Resorts Introduces Innovative Website Technology to Attract New Generation of Travelers

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Thurs. Oct. 26, 2023: Blue Diamond Resorts is thrilled to announce the inclusion of a new installment payment method for travelers who book through its website, specifically its dedicated brand websites. This innovative addition comes just in time for a very promising Black Friday of 2023, during which Blue Diamond Resorts is emphasizing that all-inclusive premium vacation experiences are meant for everyone. This advancement has been made possible through the latest innovations in travel payment solutions, ensuring a seamless and convenient booking experience for its guests.

“The inclusion of this technology on our website allows us to make our enhanced vacation experience more accessible to a new generation of travelers that desire to experience the ultimate all-inclusive vacation,” said Jurgen Stutz, SVP Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management, and Distribution, Blue Diamond Resorts. “This is one additional step that Blue Diamond Resorts takes to remain innovative in the latest technologies and vacation trends, understanding the traveler of today and tomorrow,” he added.

As part of their commitment to enhancing the guest experience, this new payment method aims to provide greater convenience and flexibility for travelers in the United States and Canada when securing their reservations.

The announcement follows the company’s latest news of the comprehensive enhancement of the experience on the upgraded room categories Diamond Club and Star Class for their Royalton Luxury Resorts and Planet Hollywood Beach Resorts portfolios, which include a personal butler throughout the entire experience, among an extensive list of perks and benefits. Blue Diamond Resorts is convinced that these services will allow more guests to experience vacations in these upgraded room categories.

This payment program encompasses the Royalton Luxury Resorts, Royalton CHIC Resorts, Hideaway at Royalton Resorts, Mystique by Royalton Resorts, and Planet Hollywood Beach Resorts brands, providing guests with a simplified and secure payment process, empowering them to book their dream vacations with ease.

Blue Diamond Resorts is transforming the all-inclusive hospitality segment across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. They adapt to market demands, offer diverse offerings to discerning travelers, and invest in innovative solutions like the new installment payment method. Their dedication to setting new standards in luxury and shaping the future of the industry is evident in their commitment to enhancing the guest experience.

About Blue Diamond Resorts  

Blue Diamond Resorts encompasses over 60 properties, exceeding 18,000 rooms in eight countries located in the most popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean. Its nine leading hotel brands include the Award-winning, All-In Luxury® Royalton Luxury Resorts, where Everyone is Family. Whether guests come as friends, parents, kids, couples, weddings, corporate or incentive retreats, or solo travelers everyone is family in these properties that feature personalized services and signature amenities including All-In Connectivity, DreamBed, and the Sports Event Guarantee.  To refocus on valued relationships and friendships, Hideaway at Royalton offers an adults-only experience with exclusive dining and preferred accommodations to enhance Togetherness among their guests. Party Your Way at Royalton CHIC Resorts, an adults-only vibrant and effervescent all-inclusive brand to revel in the unexpected. Mystique by Royalton is Miles from Ordinary, offering their visitors the chance to connect with their surroundings in a boutique-style resort collection full of endless beauty and hip vibes. In Jamaica, Grand Lido Negril offers guests over the age of 21, a unique and all-inclusive Au Naturel vacation along with a secluded shore for the utmost privacy. Memories Resorts & Spa offers a vacation designed whether you´re planning a family vacation, reuniting with friends, or just have a relaxing moment with your significant other, while Starfish Resorts provides amazing value, breathtaking surroundings, and rich culture and heritage. Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts invites guests to Vacation Like A Star with an engaging and interactive experience, plus famous pop culture items from iconic movies, music, and sports while you will Dodge the Paparazzi at Planet Hollywood Adult Scene  where your adults-only vacation will be the center of fascination and attention with glam and exclusivity.  

To learn more about Blue Diamond Resorts, please visit   

Which Reggae Album Will Make The Grammy Cut?

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 20, 2023: Sixty five albums have submitted entries to the Recording Academy to be considered for Best Reggae Album category in next year’s Grammys. However, this was down from 67 last year and 125 the previous year, World Music View reports.

As of October 11, final-round voting for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards is underway.

The 65 entries are as follows:

Right Right Time – Johnny Osbourne
Bad Juvi Mixtape – Pablo YG
Ah Mi Yard – Perfect Giddimani
Destiny – Lee “Scratch” Perry & Bob Riddim
I Give You Love – Mykal Rose
Windrush Baby – Aleighcia Scott & Rorystonelove
Root – Shavarr
Rude Gyalaxy – Shevvy
Shakespeare – The Bassman Sly, Robbie & The Team Taxi
Black Man Time – Richie Spice
Spirits Eat Music – Sundub
Power – Chris Thomas The Ceo
Clarks A Clarks – Jah Thomas
4:14 – Valiant
Jamaica Festival Song 2023 Competition – Various Artists
Legends Of Jamaica, Vol 1: A Tribute To Ska – Various Artists
1 Rifle Riddim – Various Artists
Tropical House Cruise To Jamaica (The Asian Edition) – Various Artists
We Remember Bob Andy – Various Artists
Pacific Coast Reggae – Clint Warren
22 – Yaksta
Golden Spoon – Maroon Yasus Afari
Glory – Akae Beka
Destiny – Alborosie
Pop Punk Goes Reggae Vol. 1 – Nathan Aurora
Bread & Butter – Anthony B
Shellshock – Ballyhoo!
Born For Greatness – Buju Banton
Undercover – Bead N Bone
Simma – Beenie Man
No Excuses – Charly Black
On A Mission – Blvk H3ro
Firm And Strong – Brotha George
Cali Roots Riddim 2023 – Collie Buddz
Time & Color – Bulby York
No Destroyer – Burning Spear
Vers(E) – David Cairol
Celebration – Common Kings
Happy Hour In Dub – Hollie Cook
Long Way Home – DMP
Rocksteady – Corbin Dooley
Dandy Shandy – Earthkry
Ziggy Stardub – Easy Star All-Stars
Pleasure Point – The Expendables
Ready For Battle – Marcus Gad
Mad World – Gentleman
Love In Time – Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
Riddim Full Of Culture – Green Lion Crew
Golden – Marcia Griffiths
Dreaming From An Iron Gate – Groundation & Brain Damage
Boots Rock Reggae, Vol. 1 – Cas Haley
Charka – Hempress Sativa
444 – Honorebel
Dancehall Gift – I-Octane
Undeniable – Jah Cure
Pleasant Place – Jahmali
Vintage Reggae – Jonfx
Kingston To Cali – Aza Lineage
Echo Mountain High – Long Beach Dub Allstars
Colors Of Royal – Julian Marley & Antaeus
Twelve – Mc Norman
No Love – Byron Messia
Havana Meets Kingston In Dub – Mista Savona & Gaudi
New Born – Norrac
Jah Love Surround Me – Zamunda

Cricket Returns To The Olympics In 2028

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 20, 2023: Get ready for Cricket in the Olympics.

The sport returns to the Summer Olympics in 2028 after an absence of 128 years. The proposal received approval during the IOC Session in Mumbai on Monday, with just two delegates voting against the inclusion of these new events.

This marks the return of cricket to the Olympics with both men’s and women’s T20 tournaments featuring six teams.

“After a wait of more than a century, our beloved sport is back on the Olympic stage,” former India captain Sachin Tendulkar wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “This marks the dawn of a new era for cricket as it will be a golden opportunity to foster inclusivity and showcase new talent from emerging cricketing nations. A start of something truly special!”

“Our beautiful game of cricket has a rich heritage and diverse international following,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam, the world’s top-ranked one-day international batsman. “It has the potential to enhance the spirit of Olympics even further. Cricket in the Olympics will inspire new generation, athletes and fans around the globe.”

Cricket was last played at the Olympics in 1900, but the game is played at other multi-sport events like the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. It is likely to be retained for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, which will be held in cricket-loving Australia.

“Players will get the chance to compete for an Olympic gold medal and be part of the games, which will be so special,” said Mithali Raj, a former India women’s cricket team captain. “It’s also a chance for more fans around the world to enjoy our fantastic sport.”

For the last two years, the International Cricket Council has been working extensively with the IOC for inclusion at the Los Angeles Games. The 2028 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad, and commonly known as Los Angeles 2028 or LA28, is scheduled to take place from July 14 to 30, 2028, in and around Los Angeles, California.

Also added are squash, baseball/softball, lacrosse, and flag football. Lacrosse will be a medal sport at the Olympics for the first time since 1908, while baseball has made several appearances in previous Olympic Games.

Caribbean Travel News & Deals

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 20, 2023: Here are the top Caribbean travel news and deals this week in 60 seconds.

Self described journalist Greta Van Susteren says she believes Aruba covered for Joran van der Sloot so as not to scare off tourists and travellers should do research on human trafficking before travelling there. Her comments on X, formerly Twitter, comes as Joran van der Sloot confessed to killing Natalee Holloway in Aruba some 18 years ago.

As Tropical Storm Tammy is expected to begin affecting travel to countres in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles, Canada is warning nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to Guadeloupe due to the storm. Tropical storm watches are in effect for Barbados, Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, Saba and St. Eustatius. Heavy rainfall of up to 4 inches is also expected to spread across the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by this weekend. By Monday, the storm is expected to swing out to sea and no longer be a threat.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were recently on the tiny island of Canouan in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The tiny Caribbean island is just three miles wide but has a reputation for being where ‘billionaires go to escape millionaires’ due to its gorgeous sandy beaches and a handful of upscale resorts.

Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) this week inaugurated service to its newest destination – Barbados – with weekly scheduled service now directly linking the Owen Roberts International Airport (IATA: GCM) in Grand Cayman with the Grantly Adams International Airport (IATA: BGI) in Barbados. The initial service will be available on Wednesdays, facilitating travel both to and from Barbados. As the airline transitions into its winter schedule starting November 5, the scheduled service between Grand Cayman and Barbados will be as follows:

Tuesdays: KX804 departs Grand Cayman at 5:10pm and arrives in Barbados at 9:35pm
Wednesdays: KX805 departs Barbados at 11:45am and arrives in Grand Cayman at 2:25pm
Thursdays: KX802 departs Grand Cayman at 4:30pm and arrives in Barbados at 8:55pm
Fridays: KX803 departs Barbados at 9:20am and arrives in Grand Cayman at 12:00pm

Condé Nast Traveler has revealed the outcomes of its yearly Readers’ Choice Awards, with the Turks and Caicos Islands securing the fifth position for the Top Island in The Caribbean and The Atlantic. Over 520,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers participated by sharing their travel adventures from around the world, offering valuable insights into the destinations they look forward to revisiting. These awards, known for being the travel industry’s oldest and most esteemed recognitions, continue to represent the highest standard of excellence in the travel sector. You can access the complete list of award winners here.

St. Kitts Receives Coveted 2023 Travel Weekly Magellan Gold Award for “Caribbean Eco-Friendly Sustainable Destination” Travel Weekly, a leading authority in the travel industry, recognizes the significance of being designated as a Magellan Award Winner, signifying an exceptional level of excellence within the field. The award recipients are chosen by esteemed industry experts, known for their expertise and experience. Entries undergo a thorough evaluation using a 100-point performance scale, with the highest-scoring entries receiving the prestigious Gold Magellan Awards, the highest accolade in the industry.

The food of several Caribbean islands were recently on display at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival at Pier 76 on October 14, 2023 in New York City.

And we have an early Black Friday Deal you can’t miss. From November 10th – December 5th, Celebrity Cruises is offering a BOGO 75% off a second guest as well as up to $300 in onboard credit for nearly all itineraries through April 30, 2026.Included in this incredible Black Friday sale are sailings on Celebrity’s newest ship, Celebrity Ascent, set to make her debut in December 2023 with her maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale. For more details and bookings, head on over to

Guyana’s Debt Pile Is Growing Despite Oil Riches

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 18, 2023: Despite reported revenue from oil royalties of $439 million in the second quarter, which increased the nation’s oil fund balance to $1.72 billion at the end of June, Guyana’s government has secured an additional loan of US$90 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), adding to Guyana’s debt of nearly US$1 billion.

The loan, approved by the IDB’s Board of Executive Directors, is reportedly specifically designed to expand access to safe and improved learning environments and enhance educational services, with a particular focus on supporting vulnerable students in Guyana. The IDB has described this loan as the first individual operation of a conditional credit line for investment projects (CCLIP), with a total value of US$150 million.

The additional debt comes as Guyana’s Ministry of Finance last month announced the third and fourth drawdowns from the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) for the year 2023. As per the official press release from the Ministry of Finance, a total of US$200 million had been transferred from the NRF to the Consolidated Fund in 2023, channelling resources to further national development objectives.

In August and September, the government drew US$100 million each, totaling GY$41.7 billion, which adds to the US$400 million withdrawals, or GY$83.4 billion, conducted earlier this year. Cumulatively, the total drawdowns for this year have reached US$600 million, which translates to a whopping GY$125.1 billion. The progression of these funds into the Consolidated Fund is in accordance with approvals made during the Budget 2023 process. The Parliament approved a total transfer of US$1.002 billion for the fiscal year 2023. US$402 million remains to be transferred.

Yet, as of December 31, 2022, Guyana owed the IDB US$787 million. With the recent US$205 million in loans, the total indebtedness to the IDB stands at US$992 million. In 2022 alone, Guyana borrowed US$335 million from the IDB.

Additionally, the Guyana government has taken on two development loan agreements worth $150 million with Saudi Arabia and a a $350 million loan with Qatar, all just this year.

Meanwhile, subject to approvals from authorities in Guyana, the final investment decision (FID) for ExxonMobil’s massive Whiptail development – its sixth in the Stabroek Block – is expected by Q1 2024.

So says the president of the company’s Guyana operations, Alistair Routledge, when asked by reporters on October 17.

“We’re anticipating somewhere around the first quarter or maybe the end of [the] first quarter of next year… but as I say, subject to going through the appropriate regulatory process,” he relayed.

Fitch Solutions forecast Guyana’s fiscal deficit will widen from 2.2% of GDP in 2022 to 3.0% in 2023 given the government’s planned 41.4% increase in headline expenditure over the year. While this suggests a slight deterioration in the market’s fiscal trajectory, Fitch notes that the projected deficit remains comfortably below both the 5-year and 10-year historical average deficits of 5.0% and 4.3%, respectively.
The successful offshore oil field explorations and developments in Guyana in recent years have prompted the government to increase headline expenditure by double-digit growth rates since 2019, and 2023 will be no exception to this trend.

Nonetheless, Oil revenues will record large gains in the medium term as production continues to rise amid stabilizing prices, suggesting that Guyana will hit its first surplus in Fitch’s records by 2024. Overall, Fitch sees limited risks to Guyana’s medium-term fiscal trajectory due to persistent surpluses and a low debt-to-GDP ratio (24.6% in 2022 and averaging 25.6% between 2023 and 2027).

Guyana became an oil producing nation in 2019 and, with a population of roughly 800,000, is poised to dramatically increase its per capita wealth. While GDP per capita is skyrocketing thanks to oil production and 2022 GDP growth of 62 percent, but many still live under the poverty line. Guyana’s economy is, however, projected to grow by 37 percent in 2023 alongside a 6.6 percent inflation rate, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Guyana’s offshore oil development is poised to deliver over 500,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) by the end of 2023 with expectations that the country will produce 1.2 million bpd by 2027.

Dominican Film On Indigenous People wins Best Documentary at Canadian Film Festival

News Americas, Toronto, Canada, Weds. Oct. 17, 2023: “Territory,” a short film focused on the indigenous people of the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica- the Kalinago, recently won the Best Short Documentary at the 18th annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival (CTFF).

The film is the first submission by Director Jael Joseph to the festival, which took place in Toronto from September 6-22, 2023. “Territory” tied for the title with “Negra, Yo Soy Bella,” a film by Puerto Rico’s Vashi Korin.

“To win on my first try, it’s just an incredible feeling and I dedicate this win to my late parents and the Kalinago people of Dominica, who are still navigating how to best protect and retain their culture, traditions and identity and whose trust and openness allowed me to share their stories,” commented Joseph.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked family friends, colleagues and mentors singling out CTFF founder, Frances-Ann Solomon from whom she drew “inspiration and influence.”

CTFF celebrates the talents of established and emerging Caribbean and African filmmakers, presenting a multi-ethnic mix of exciting and dynamic films that showcase diverse and shared cultural stories.  The 2023 submissions surrounded the theme Eco survivors bringing to focus the impact of climate change on Caribbean Small Island States (SIDS) and Canada. 

Films selected into CTFF are reviewed by a programming committee – composed of film industry professionals- actors, producers, critics, tech), representing a mix of Caribbean islands, who determine winners in various categories.

For CTFF Festival Director, Diana Webley, “Territory” was awarded Best Short Documentary as it “provided a rare peek inside the Kalinago Territory in Dominica.”

“It is a film that reflects the current political situation and we wanted to shed light on it,” she said.

In “Territory,” Jospeph and her film crew, spent ten days following Anette Sanford, Samoza John and Natasha Green, descendants of the island’s first people, who gave their take on the individual and communal challenges they faced as residents of the 3,700 acre Kalinago Territory- an area on the island’s northeast that was ceded to the Kalinago 120 years ago. The film delves into the political struggles they face and focuses on the loss of their language and inability to use their land for economic development.  The issues of the Kalinago were further juxtaposed against their recovery from Category 5 Hurricane Maria and the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The film also featured guest appearances by Kalinago Chief Lorenzo Sanford and Hon. Cozier Frederick, parliamentary representative for the area. 

Joseph, a media entrepreneur and communications consultant, who splits her time between Dominica and Canada, is a Toronto Metropolitan University, (formerly Ryerson University) graduate, and was inspired to create this film alongside her research paper entitled, “Territory: Commonalities between the Reclamation of the Kalinago Language and Connection to Land.” For the paper she interviewed over 25 persons and developed some of the interviews into a 10-minute podcast called “Woryijan; Kalinago women and Intersectionality.”

While the award also signifies a personal achievement, Joseph sees its wider impact as a testament to the incredible power of storytelling.

Territory Director Jael Joseph poses with her award for Best Short Documentary.

“It’s my hope that territory continues to serve as a beacon of the storytelling tradition, shining a light on untold narratives and fostering understanding and unity in our diverse world,” said Joseph.

This experience has solidified her mission to champion the Kalinago people; and so far she has given support to events such as the Kalinago Spelling B competition through her brand Black Island Girl Multimedia, and has served as a vocal advocate for other initiatives within the community.

“I am really rooting for my Kalinago brothers and sisters,” says Joseph. “This documentary is just the start. I want to bring positive change to the community and commit to using my platforms to share their story and to impact their lives for the better.” 

“Territory” was funded with support from an anonymous donor as well as the proceeds of prize won from The Creative School’s 2022 Johnny Lombardi Award for Creative Endowment. The film can be viewed online till September 22nd as part of CTFF, and will be screened at more film festivals worldwide.

The CTFF Award ceremony was held on Sunday 17th September 2023 at the Studio Theatre Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. The list of winners are:

Best Feature Documentary

“It is Not Past 08 12 1982”- Ida Does (Suriname)

Best Short Documentary (TIED)

“Territory”- Jael Joseph (Dominica)

“Negra, Yo Soy Bella- Vashni Korin (Puerto Rico)

Best Short Film

“Here Ends the World We’ve Known”- Anne-Sophie Nanki (Guadeloupe)

Best Comedy

“My Maxi”- Andrei J. Pierre (Trinidad & Tobago)

Best Animation

“It’s Nice in Here” Robert-Jonathan Koeyers (Curaçao / Amsterdam)

Caribbean Spirit Award

“Tabanca”- Lauren Marsden (Trinidad & Tobago / Canada)

Intersect Award

“My Lady of the Camelia”- Édouard Montoute (French Guiana)

Impact Award

“Powerlands”- Ivey-Camille Manybeads Tso (USA)

Innovation Award

“Yubism: Life and Art of Yubi Kirindongo”- Corry van Heijningen (Curaçao)

Best Cinematography

“Eden River”- Jack Evans (Belize)

Watch “Territory” HERE.

Data Absence Hampers Poverty Reduction Efforts In The Caribbean

By Lilia Burunciuc And Marla Dukharan

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C.,Thurs. Oct. 18, 2023: In the Caribbean, understanding poverty and exactly who is affected and how, in order to inform corrective policy measures, is inhibited by the absence of data. Many Caribbean countries simply do not collect the data to measure and monitor poverty and inequality.

A World Bank study carried out in 2015 showed that nine Caribbean countries were data deprived, meaning they had one or less poverty estimates available within a ten-year period. The recommended frequency is 3-5 years (see chart showing the latest poverty data available by country).

This situation has not changed much since 2015. In 6 out of 18 countries in the Caribbean, national poverty estimates are available only for the 2000s. With the exception of Jamaica, which has a long history of monitoring poverty on an annual basis, and the Dominican Republic, the most recent poverty estimates are between 5 and 7 years old. In several countries, socio-economic information such as unemployment rates and demographic characteristics, is also not collected regularly. 

Unless we have up-to-date poverty data, we are unable to measure progress toward poverty reduction and may in fact be heading toward higher levels of poverty and inequality. Without the data, we are also unable to develop effective policies and interventions that address poverty, and social welfare spending could end up missing the mark completely. 

Caribbean people suffered severe socio-economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and their households were hit by yet another shock when living costs increased sharply in 2022. Evidence from phone- and online-based surveys conducted by development partners in recent years suggests that these shocks hit the poor and vulnerable the most, leading to rising inequality which is very visible now and a direct cause of poverty as the two reinforce each other in a vicious cycle.

The CARICOM Food Security & Livelihoods Impact Survey showed that, when faced with rising food prices in 2022, low-income households in the Caribbean were much more likely to reduce essential expenditure in health and education or sell productive assets to meet food needs than those better-off. Such coping behaviors reinforce inequality. On the other hand, higher levels of inequality can perpetuate poverty if power is concentrated in the hands of a few and limits access to opportunities or basic needs for those who need it the most. We need the data, and we need deliberate policy action to break this cycle so many are stuck in. 

More frequent household data can also be used to improve our resilience to climate change and natural hazards, for instance, by combining household data with climate and hazard data for vulnerability assessments that can inform targeted policies.

In the context of higher debt levels, the absence of recent poverty data means poverty may be less of a policy priority, but when poverty policies are implemented without sound data and evidence, they are less likely to be successful, resulting in wasted resources. The Caribbean simply can’t afford to continue along this path – Caribbean people deserve better.

The Capacity Gap 

Statistical capacity in the Caribbean is lower than in other world regions globally, as measured by the Statistical Performance Indicator. Many Caribbean countries struggle with weak statistical capacity and low data usage, which reinforce each other.  

Limited capacity means that the quality of the data can be poor and outdated. In addition, countries sometimes opt not to disclose poverty data based on political sensitivities, which hampers policymaking to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.

What Can Be Done? 

Some Caribbean countries have made efforts to address aspects of the data gap. For example, initiatives like the World Bank funded OECS Data for Decision Making Project, the Caribbean Development Bank’s Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment Project or Statistics Canada’s Project for the Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean have been implemented with the support of development partners. However, if we are to end poverty by 2030, the following needs to be considered: 

1. Commit to regular and comprehensive data collection on poverty and key socio-economic indicators. This includes conducting household surveys, censuses, and surveys to gather information on income, living conditions, employment, education, and healthcare access.  Governments must budget appropriately to conduct these surveys, and the development community can support these efforts by providing additional funding, capacity building and analytical support. 

2.  Invest in the capacity of national statistical offices and policy analysis units. This includes adequate staffing of statistical offices and providing training and resources to staff responsible for data collection, analysis, and reporting.  

3. Promote data transparency and accessibility. This includes making key indicators of surveys and poverty estimates available online and through public events, strengthening the legal framework for microdata dissemination and investing in microdata repositories for safe storage and dissemination.  

Poverty projections conducted for the Caribbean by the World Bank and insights from phone and online surveys conducted during the pandemic suggest that the Caribbean may not be making material progress with poverty reduction.

Although poverty is expected to be on a declining path since its spike in 2020, in most countries it is believed to still be above pre-pandemic levels. There is much work to do to help the poor and vulnerable recover from the pandemic and ensure that there will be no long-term impacts on the welfare of future generations who suffered from severe disruptions in education and health services during the pandemic. It is now imperative that leaders, in collaboration with international organizations and civil society, seize this opportunity to collect and transform data into meaningful action, leaving no one behind. 

At an individual level, we all need to advocate for governments to conduct and share assessments of poverty and the corresponding outcomes. By advocating for greater openness and transparency, we can contribute to the reduction of poverty and improved Caribbean lives and livelihoods.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lilia Burunciuc is the World Bank Director for Caribbean countries. Ms. Burunciuc, a Moldovan national, is responsible for maintaining the partnership with the countries to address their development challenges.  Marla Dukharan is a Caribbean economist and a point of reference for monitoring regional developments and country-level economic performance, and is known for leading discussions and publishing reports on the Caribbean implications of global geopolitical developments. She is a highly sought-after speaker for key industry, multilateral, and academic conferences on a regional and international scale, and she regularly advises investors and private sector Boards of Directors in the Caribbean. The article was written to mark The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – celebrated each year on October 17 throughout the world.

The Countdown Begins To The Biggest Caribbean Investment Forum of 2023

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 16, 2023: The anticipation is building as we approach the Caribbean’s premier investment event of the year.

With an anticipated attendance of over 800 participants, the highly awaited second Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF), scheduled to be held at the Royal Atlantis – One Casino Drive, Suite 41, Paradise Island, Bahamas, from October 23rd to 25th, is set to become the epicenter for the exchange of ideas, knowledge-sharing, and the culmination of vital business and investment agreements that will steer regional transformation.

Organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency, in collaboration with the European Union, the Government of the Bahamas, the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Caribbean Development Bank, this conference is poised to explore pivotal development opportunities in AgTech, renewable energy, ICT, transportation, logistics, and shipping within the region. CIF will showcase several project developers presenting their ventures in the Renewable Energy, AgTech, ICT, Logistics, and Transport Investment Villages, with eight projects packaged by the Invest Caribbean team.

The event kicks off at 4 p.m. AST on October 23rd, commencing with addresses from Dr. Carla N. Barnett, Secretary-General of CARICOM, and Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency. It will also feature a keynote address by the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Davis, emphasizing the Bahamas as a prime investment destination.

The conference resumes at 9 a.m. AST on the 24th with an address by Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation of The Bahamas, centered on ‘Spotlighting the Caribbean for Investment.’ This will be followed by a keynote address on ‘Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Economic Development’ by Paul Ahlstrom, Managing Director of Alta Ventures.

The Caribbean Investment Villages will open on October 24th at 3 p.m. and run through October 25th.

Don’t miss out on this transformative event. Get your tickets at