Barbados is in the process of constructing a detailed Social Policy Framework based on the findings of the Country Assessment of Living Conditions (CALC) study.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart disclosed that the framework would be supplemented by the appropriate Poverty Eradication programmes and promised that Barbados??? progress on these matters would be shared during the next Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in Cuba (CELAC) Summit.

Mr. Stuart made the disclosure yesterday during an address at the Second Summit of Heads of Government of CELAC. The two-day meeting, which ended yesterday, had as its theme Struggle against Hunger, Poverty and Inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Prime Minister shared the results of the CALC study with the other Heads, as part of his argument that there should be a special consideration of the needs of middle income countries classified as countries with very high human development because they still had serious pockets of poverty which needed attention.

???This information on the CALC Study supports, Mr. President, our argument that middle income countries are severely constrained by the lack of access to grants and concessional financing and critical technical assistance. For while their general standard of living may be high by comparison with other countries, they often have serious pockets of deprivation that are entrenched and reflect a high degree of intergenerational poverty, which requires the exertion of serious efforts if it is to be eradicated,??? he charged.

Mr. Stuart stressed that Barbados, other countries in CARICOM, and states like Cuba, have additional structural and environmental vulnerabilities as small island developing states (SIDS).

???And thus, the special declaration on SIDS is recognition that the unique characteristics of SIDS require special attention from the CELAC. In this regard, I am also heartened by the inclusion of the special declaration on Climate Change and Integrated Disaster Risk Management,??? he told his audience.

The Prime Minister reminded the Heads that it was the struggle against hunger, poverty and inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean which inspired them to form CELAC and said he was pleased that there would be a second meeting on Social Development and Eradication of Hunger and Poverty in the course of this year.

???We attended the first meeting, held in Venezuela last year, which started the process of our joint work on this matter. For if our people are unable to benefit from basic necessities such as food and nutritional security, they will not be able to realise the areas for action that we have detailed in our ambitious Plan of Action. The history of this region dictates that we continue to give priority to the development of enlightened social policy,??? Mr. Stuart stated.

Presidents and Prime Ministers from 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries participated in the Second Summit of Heads of Government of the CELAC, from January 27 to 29. A Declaration of Havana and a Plan of Action for 2014, covering several important economic and social areas, were adopted.

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