Government will be looking to roll out its new poverty alleviation programme shortly.

This was announced by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, who said the Identification and Assessment, Stabilisation, Enablement and Empowerment Bridge Project (ISEE), which will offer support and relief to vulnerable Barbadians, will commence in the first half of this year.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of an Organisation of American States (OAS), Caribbean Conference on Horizontal Cooperation in Social Protection at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, he added that the project will start on a pilot basis with 30 households across Barbados.

The ISEE Bridge Project is an adaptation of the Chilean Puente (Bridge) Social Protection programme which was instituted by the Chilean Government in 2002 to empower families in extreme poverty.

"[The ISEE Project] will apply a new approach, buttressed by strong psychosocial input by social workers, along the lines of the Chilean model.?? We have just completed two days of training for social workers in the application of this approach, and are assiduously working with the Poverty Eradication Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Task Force to Monitor and Strengthen the Social Safety Net to develop the various elements of the programme and pilot project," Minister Blackett pointed out.

The Social Care Minister stressed that Government’s social network would not only seek to assist the poor, but encompass the aged and disabled.

"In relation to the aged, our comprehensive White Paper on Aging is shortly to be sent to the Cabinet and, thereafter, to Parliament, and the Plan of Action for the already approved White Paper on the Disabled is being refined in particular reference to the UN

Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities, which we hope to be able to ratify soon," Mr. Blackett said.??

Author: Andr?? Skeete

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