Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett, chatting with IDB representative in Barbados, Juan Carlos De La Hoz Vinas at the launch of the new social development project at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (A.Miller/BGIS)

A US$10 million dollar IDB funded project will benefit two hundred and fifty poverty-stricken Barbadian families.

The project, entitled, Strengthening Human and Social Development in Barbados, aims to contribute towards the reduction of extreme poverty and unemployment across the island.

During the launch of the initiative last Friday, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, explained that the programme consists of three components:

  1. It aims to reduce poverty through the expansion of the Identification, Stabilization, Enablement and Empowerment (ISEE) BridgeProgramme;
  2. It seeks to reduce unemploymentthrough improved employment agency-related services and demand-driven technical training, and
  3. It will seek to build a stronger network,and where applicable, increase connectivity with the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, and other related institutions on certain programmes.

Minister Blackett stated: “Many of those living in poverty are already feeling their own personal stigma, believing that claiming benefits is embarrassing. We therefore have a duty to try to reduce this feeling and most importantly to ensure that we do not institutionalise that stigma but rather open the doors for progress and opportunity.”

The project, which will be implemented over a five-year period, will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development and will be financed through loan resources from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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