Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — A number of government programs in St. Kitts and Nevis designed to eradicate hunger and poverty were highlighted by Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture and Social Services, as he reflected on the theme for World Food Day (WFD) 2015 which takes place on Friday, October 16th.
The theme for this years’ WFD is “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty”. Minister Hamilton outlined the Government’s support with regards to poverty.
“The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has embarked on a Poverty Reduction Strategy within the context of macroeconomic growth policy,” said Minister Hamilton. “These include the redistribution of resources in a more equitable manner, the strengthening of public, private and community-based organizations to enhance human resource capacity, community empowerment with emphasis of vulnerable groups and improved social services and social safety net programmes.”
The Agriculture Minister stated that the eradication of poverty in St. Kitts and Nevis is based on three pillars of reform, namely: capacity-building, the engendering of life skills and the personal development of those affected by poverty.
“There is a safety net system which provides either financial assistance or food baskets to poor families,” he said, adding that assistance for the acquisition of school uniforms by families earning less than $250 per week and a programme that offers corrective eye wear for persons of school age is also available.
Minister Hamilton further stated that other initiatives are in place to assist school children, such as a school-feeding programme that provides a meal a day to all primary and secondary school students on request, as well as free school bus service for all students, while books are provided free of charge to secondary school students under the Students Education and Learning Fund (S.E.L.F) project.
To fully commemorate World Food Day 2015, a week of activities which runs from Sunday October 11th to Saturday, October 17th, has been planned by the Ministry of Agriculture. Thus far, a church service was held, as well as talks in all high schools.
Other activities include a panel discussion on ZIZ TV from 8p.m. to 9p.m. on Tuesday, October 13th, a rebroadcast of the Minister’s address on Wednesday 14th, Farmers and Fishers Prize Giving Ceremony at the Department of Agriculture on Thursday 15th and a donation to the Ministry of Social Development on Friday 16th. The week culminates with a Society WFD Fair by the Sandy Point Agricultural Cooperative in Sandy Point.