|Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett|
The Country Assessment of Living Conditions (CALC), has revealed some positive data suggesting that significant progress has been made in several areas of the Barbados economy.
Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, highlighted some of these advancements during a statement on the CALC study which he delivered in Parliament today.
The Minister pointed out that an assessment of the socio-economic environment of this island over the period 1995 to 2010 showed a reduction in unemployment and improvements in the education, health and housing sectors.
He further underscored reports that indicated high levels of entrepreneurship and the desire which several persons had to continue and further their education.
The Social Care Minister also noted: "The country has witnessed a reduction of reported crime and a high degree of social stability with the establishment of governance mechanisms such as the Social Partnership…"
Alluding to the island’s achievement of four out of the eight targeted Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Minister Blackett stated that "Barbados has performed well by international standards, having achieved a very high human development ranking by the UNDP."
"Barbados has met and exceeded the MDGs in the areas of Universal Education, Gender Equality, Child Mortality and Maternal Health, while generally progress is being made in the areas of the halving of HIV transmission and environmental sustainability," the Minister revealed.
He also highlighted the most recent UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) ranking, which Barbados tops as the only Caribbean country that is Very Highly Developed.
The CALC was a study undertaken by the Bureau of Social Policy, Research and Planning within the Ministry of Social Care, in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank, the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) and the National Assessment Team.
It was designed to assess the current conditions affecting the welfare of Barbadians, and identify policies, strategies and programmes that would reduce poverty in Barbados.