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Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 27, 2018 (SKNIS): Official from various agencies of the government will be working closely with individuals enrolled in the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) to ensure that their economic condition is improved and the quality of life of their household is enhanced.

The PAP was officially launched on Monday (December 24, 2018) and provides households earning less than $3,000 per month with a monthly stipend of $500. 

Janelle Lewis Tafari, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Services, told beneficiaries: “We want to lift the households from poverty and vulnerability to a state of well-being where they don’t need the assistance any longer and as such officers will be assigned to you to help you with your budgeting.”

The case management also involves helping persons to find jobs where applicable so that they will be in a better position to support their family.

“Maybe your vulnerability is that you are unemployed or underemployed. [The] Labour Department has an Employment Desk. We are going to link you with [the] Labour Department,” Mrs. Lewis Tafari indicated. “We do have the STEP (Skills Training Empowerment Programme), where there’s training we are going to link you with the STEP and there are other agencies.”  

The permanent secretary urged beneficiaries to be open and honest with their case officers and to give their full cooperation.

“We know it may be a little exhausting having a case officer calling you everyday asking you questions; we are trying to improve your situation, so you will have to work with us to move from poverty to a state of wellbeing,” she added.

The PAP is funded from the Government Treasury and Mrs. Lewis Tafari stressed that all parties involved share a burden of responsibility to ensure that the $500 stipend is used to uplift the lives of citizens and residents in a wholesome way.

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