Over the next two days, this country will host an Organisation of American States (OAS), Caribbean Conference on Horizontal Cooperation in Social Protection.

The event will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development.

It will run from tomorrow, Wednesday, January 19, to Thursday, January 20, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael.

The conference will bring together senior officials in the area of social development in the CARICOM region, and representatives of the Chilean Government’s Puente Programme, as well as representatives of regional and international development agencies including the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

Some 50 overseas delegates are expected for the meeting, which will look at strengthening cooperation in social protection in Caribbean countries as well as expose delegates to best practices in social protection at the regional and hemispheric level.

One such project to be discussed is the Chilean Puente (Bridge) Social Protection programme. Instituted by the Chilean Government in 2002, it seeks to empower families in extreme poverty through psycho-social support, subsidies and assistance in areas such as health, education and income generation.

The initiative is recognised throughout the world because of its success in reducing poverty levels in the South American nation.

The?? conference will also assist the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development in the development and implementation of the Identification, Stabilisation, Enablement and Empowerment (ISEE) Bridge Programme, which will be an adaptation of the Chilean model.

The ISEE Bridge Programme will focus on targeted intervention in a number of households in Barbados, addressing the needs of each member and empowering them with the necessary tools to overcome their living conditions of poverty.

The Barbados delegation at the conference will be headed by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett.??


Author: Andr?? Skeete

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