Cabinet takes measures to access one million Euros for Social Development Programme

Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) – The Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has taken measures to access one million Euros from the European Union.

“Given government’s commitment to interventions that focus on the reduction and alleviation of poverty and social exclusion, Cabinet approved the revision of the Social Development Assistance Act (1999) that will provide the framework for a most modern social assistance programme that focuses on the specific needs of the poor and the disabled,” a post Cabinet statement said on Monday.

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Cabinet’s approval of the revised social protection bill (2014) will trigger the release of one million Euros under the accompanying measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP) countries instrument, as part of the European Union’s budgetary support to the Federation.

In 2012, a National Social Protection Strategy and Plan of Action was developed by the government to guide the establishment of a sustainable, comprehensive and integrated social protection system to safeguard our citizens against risks, shocks and vulnerabilities that can negatively impact their standard of living.

It has been noted additionally that the present legislation on social assistance is inadequate in stipulating adherence to international human rights treaties that have been ratified by the Federation over the years. Government is of the view that all laws of the Federation should be compliant with international human rights treaties.

Three existing social protection services are being consolidated into a unified grant system to promote greater effectiveness and efficiency. These programmes are (i) the food voucher programme (ii) the compassionate grant and (iii) the poor relief and disability grants.

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