Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Social Assistance Programmes in St. Kitts and Nevis continue to positively impact the less fortunate in society, as Government reaffirms its commitment to the health and well-being of residents.
Minster of Social and Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Hon. Marcella Liburd, highlighted the improvement of the services provided by the Federal Government, at a recently held town hall meeting.
“St. Kitts and Nevis has the highest number of social assistance programs in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and perhaps the highest in the Caribbean region,” said Minister Liburd. “Government has close to 30 programmes across various ministries and departments.”
Minister Liburd outlined a number of programs in which her ministry is accountable for, noting that they are geared at assisting persons who are in need.
“We offer the following services: food vouchers to individuals, compassionate grants to children whose parents have passed or are in prison, school uniforms, medical assistance to persons who have to undergo surgery and other procedures, eye glasses,” stated Minister Liburd. “We also provide US$5,000 to individuals who wish to travel overseas for medical help in certain areas such as cancer. There is also a program in place to assist the elderly and fire victims.”
The Minister pointed out that access these services, persons will be interviewed by a social assistance officer. This is to ensure that individuals applying for these services are those who are truly in need.
In September 2014, Ayala Consulting Corporation out of Miami, U.S.A., was hired by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, through the Ministry of Social and Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs to provide direct technical assistance.
The group is presently working with the Government to develop an appropriate formula for the Federation’s cash transfer programs (Food Vouchers, Social Protection, Compassionate Grant, School Uniforms and Health and Education Universal Programs) for the categorization of households according to poverty levels.
Minister Liburd encouraged persons to corporate with the Economists from the Ayala Consulting Corporation and the Government, so that they can target those persons who are really in need of social assistance.