Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, speaking during a press briefing yesterday to announce that Barbados has received the first tranche of financial support from the EU for a number of social service programmes. Looking on is Deputy Director General, International Partnerships, Myriam Ferran. (B. Hinds/BGIS)

Government is seeking to change the way poverty is dealt with in Barbados, and to transform the social services sector.

And, with an injection of funds to the tune of BDS$8.8 million, the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, will be seeking to conduct the necessary assessments; carry out relevant enhancements, and implement plans to improve the lives of Barbadians.

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, outlined some of these plans after receiving the first tranche of BDS$5.8 million, during a press briefing on Wednesday.

The funds come through Barbados’ partnership with the European Union to strengthen the social protection agencies and widen its reach to assist the most vulnerable and marginalised in society.

Noting that it was Government’s intention to design plans that would improve the lives of people, Mr. Humphrey said three programmes were presently being explored, the details of which should be known by the end of next month.

Meanwhile, the Minister said that Government, in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), would be seeking to conduct a Country Assessment of Living Conditions, which surveyed poverty.

“One is the institutional assessment, which looks at the capacity of institutions to be able to deliver the services that they are supposed to deliver. [Then], it is a PPA. The Participatory Poverty Assessment, which is people’s understanding of poverty, why they are in it, and how they intend to get out of it,” he said.

The third component, Mr. Humphrey outlined was the Survey of Living Conditions, which surveys the living conditions of residents through a questionnaire to define the poverty and vulnerability line.

“That conversation with CDB has already started,” Mr. Humphrey indicated.

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