Senator Parker Calls for Global Anti-Poverty Alliance
The Ministry of Social Transformation moves to strengthen poverty alleviation initiatives in Antigua and Barbuda.
As part of World Food Day celebrations Antigua & Barbuda joins the rest of the world to recognize, “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty” today, October 17th, under the theme “Working together out of poverty”.
Senator Parker explained that the theme symbolizes the need for a truly global anti-poverty alliance, one in which both developed and developing countries participate actively. “It also requires the willingness of people living below the poverty-line, to take advantage of the assistance and the opportunities provided to break the cycle of poverty.”
With the implementation of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy (NPRS), Senator Parker says that the country’s programme is steady, as, Government increases its’ focus on poverty reduction.
Several programmes have been introduced as an indication of the Government’s thrust towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal #1 to Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger.
Among the list being executed by the Ministry are the Home Improvement Grant; the Board of Guardian -Poverty Alleviation Grant assistance to the vulnerable and the eligible, the Schools Uniform Grant, the Schools Meals Programme of the Ministry of education and the Senior Citizens Utility Subsidy Programme which is implemented by PDV Caribe and funded with resources made available through the Petro Caribe arrangement.
There is also a job training initiative to be undertaken by the ministry of Labour.
He said this is a critical step towards the identification of eligible individuals or households, based on the established criteria for the delivery of social protection to the respective participants.
This will also enhance the process of transparency, accountability, monitoring, evaluation and impact assessments, of all social protection programmes.
Inspite of the global economic downturn, the Government’s decision in choosing to keep hundreds employed, and maintains its contribution in a number of social schemes cannot be overstated when assessing the need to stem the risk of poverty.