Aruba is a small open economy with high living standards. Aruba’s per capita income, at about USD 24.1 thousand, is one of the highest in the Caribbean. Over 85 percent of the economy depends on tourism, making Aruba very vulnerable to external shocks. The fixed exchange rate regime against the U.S. dollar (unchanged at 1.79 florins to the dollar since 1986), supported by conservative fiscal, credit, and prudential policies, kept balances in check until late 2000s. Three recessions since the Global Financial Crisis and the government’s policy response to them have led to a rapid increase in public debt. ( IMF Country Report No. 17/155).The climate is tropical marine, with little seasonal temperature variation. Temperatures in Aruba do not change dramatically.
Aruba has a broad range of social safety nets. These include universal healthcare, pensions, unemployment benefits, transport subsidies, and cash transfers to low-income families and single mothers. The 2017 budget included 1.2 percent of GDP in transfers to universal healthcare and 1.3 percent of GDP in cash transfers and various social programs.
UNDP in Aruba
Aruba Launched the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development for Small Island States.
The Government of Aruba, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched today a Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).The Centre aims to strengthen innovation and resilience in SIDS—in the Caribbean and beyond. It will offer a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences between developing countries (South-South cooperation), including on issues such as renewable energy, climate resilience, public-private partnerships, water management, tourism, environment and public health.