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Jamaica's debt crisis makes BBC news

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM


The country's debt crisis has once again garnered the world's attention, after a two-minute feature dubbed 'Debt-ridden Jamaica appeals to IMF (International Monetary Fund) for help' was recently shown on the BBC's website.

"A country working to pay off its bills, Jamaica is one of the most debt-ridden nations on earth. It owes about $18 billion and has had low growth for decades but that wasn't always the case," the reporter started out before taking viewers on a historical journey when bauxite and agriculture accounted for the majority of the country's wealth. The video pointed to competition and bad weather as two of the factors which have led to the downward trajectory in the country's agricultural sector and consequently its enormous debt.

Living on less than $4

Pointing to the nation's cost of living, the report said that around 17 per cent of Jamaicans live below the poverty line on less than US$4 per day.

"Tourism remains a lifeline for the economy and last year over $3 million people arrived, a record number, but in the face of tight consumer spending many resorts have had to cut prices to attract customers," the reporter mentioned.

Footage of the country's manufacturing and telecommunication sectors were also broadcast for the world to see as the BBC reporter delved into their earning capability.

"It's not just about making things. Jamaica wants to expand its service industry, boosting tourism, call centres and help desks. This is what the country needs to do if it is to fully maximise its potential."

Pointing to the nation's cost of living, the report said that around 17 per cent of Jamaicans live below the poverty line on less than US$4 per day.