???People Programme??? To Reduce Poverty

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Government???s Strengthening Human and Social Development Programme has been described by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, as a ???people-centric??? project, aimed at reducing extreme poverty within the Barbadian society.

Mr. Blackett made the comments today at Government Headquarters, shortly before Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, and Chief of Operations and Officer in Charge of the Inter-American Development Bank in Barbados, Christel Saab, signed loan agreements for the programme.

Stressing that a country was only as strong as its poorest citizen, he noted that the objective of the project was to impact the fabric of the country???s social landscape. He added that the programme was key to the execution of his Ministry???s mandate.

???My Ministry, through this programme, will also be able to further refine a targeting mechanism to facilitate the delivery of social welfare services to the most urgent cases in the society. This will ensure that their basic needs are met, not only during the project, but subsequent to its completion.

???Through the expansion of the Identification Stabilisation Enablement and Empowerment (ISEE) Bridge Programme, the Ministry will be able to make a greater impact on more than the usual 30 households which are targeted under its bi-annual programme. In fact, 250 households drawn from every constituency in Barbados will be included,??? he stated.

Mr. Blackett noted that these households would be rehabilitated to ensure their viability. He explained that areas of focus would include education, health and greater employability.

He pointed out that the programme???s aim was to augment the capacity of Government through the development of a Management Information System that would fuel the flow of information between social care stakeholders and the Ministry of Labour.

???This will improve monitoring and evidenced-based decision making that will impact the formulation and implementation of social policies. A more targeted approach to the social issues prevalent in our society will be the outcome,??? he remarked.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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