Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a stable country, which has been independent since 1962. The Caribbean state is one of the southernmost of the Lesser Antilles, off the coast of Venezuela and is one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean, due to its large reserves of natural oil and gas. Although its economy is highly dependent on those resources, tourism also plays an important role, particularly for Tobago. Despite the wealth of the country, statistics show that poverty in Trinidad and Tobago is on the rise, as is the gap between the rich and the poor. Crime is a major issue for the country. This is set against a backdrop of spiralling violent crime, deficiencies in the education system and rising unemployment. The poor are unable to access land in the inflated real estate market, and turn to squatting on vacant land. It is estimated that there are some 300,000 people squatting, and living in dwellings, that display slum characteristics.
After completing Phase 1 of the PSUP, Trinidad & Tobago entered Phase 2 recently, focusing its Participatory Action Planning initiatives on its capital, Port of Spain. The currently implemented strategy is formulated to address environmental, social, economic and governance issues, all with the aim of reducing challenges informal dwellers need to face on a daily basis. Priority outcomes by the end of Phase 2 include: 1) Safe and secure communities with increased climate resilience, which are aesthetically and functionally reflective of their unique characteristics; 2) Available and accessible information on slum upgrading and prevention initiatives by stakeholders; and 3) Public-Private Partnership projects and initiatives for slum upgrading and prevention.
PSUP encourages protecting and promoting the voices of the most disadvantaged. Therefore, together with Trinidad and Tobago, we made sure that our work also makes a change in terms of human rights protection and youth and women empowerment, all in line with PSUP principles.