Shock-Responsive Social Protection in the Caribbean - Trinidad and Tobago Case Study

This report studies the case of Trinidad and Tobago and identifies the factors that would allow its social protection system to be more responsive to shocks. Trinidad and Tobago is a high-income country and is among the countries with highest percapita income in the LAC region. This small twinisland state has become one of the most developed nations in the Caribbean region, based on the successful development of the energy sector. At the same time, Trinidad and Tobago is highly exposed to different types of covariate shocks (shocks that affect entire communities, or large parts of the population simultaneously). The most frequent and severe are hydrological and seismic events, such as floods, landslides and earthquakes, economic shocks, and more recently a high influx of migration. To reduce the impact of disasters on affected populations, the government provides a number of temporary food, relief and assistance grants and has developed the 2017-2022 National Social Mitigation Plan, which aims to improve access to social protection programmes in order to enhance people’s capacities to better manage risks and shocks. At the time of publishing this research, Trinidad and Tobago was one of several countries in the Caribbean that introduced, expanded or adapted social protection programmes and systems to support individuals and households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.