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Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 02, 2020 (SKNIS): This year’s Financial Information Month (FIM) – which runs from October 01 to 31 – will seek to empower residents of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) on ways of building financial resilience.

This was according to Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, Howard Richardson, who delivered the Declaration Speech on behalf of Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

“The recurrent overarching theme for FIM since the campaign began in 2002 is ‘Financial Empowerment through Education.’ This years’ focus is on resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tagline is: Building Financial Resilience in the COVID-19 Environment,” said Mr. Richardson. Financial resilience is defined as the ability to withstand life events that impact one’s income or assets. The government, private sector and households are all grappling to mitigate the shock generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis shows how important it is to keep resources in reserve for times when unexpected upheavals in the world economy prevent it from functioning normally.”

Since taking up office in 2015, the Team Unity Government has always incorporated financial resiliency into the Federation’s fiscal management.

“We succeeded in growing our economy five years in a row and recorded surplus after surplus on recurrent, overall and primary balances. We achieved these surpluses while paying off the $117 million in IMF debt and redeeming over 400 acres of land for our people at a cost of $200 million. As a consequence, we were able to tackle this monster pandemic head-on using our own resources in the first instance,” said the financial advisor.

He noted that the government prides itself on placing great importance on the well-being of all citizens.

“As a caring government, the well-being and welfare of all our citizens will always be at the forefront of our actions to weather the present pandemic and all future crisis. The fallout out from COVID-19 is especially impactful on the livelihood of a significant number of workers in the critical tourism sector, with our job creators and small to medium businesses, in particular the worst affected by reduced income. As I stated some time ago, we feel for our workers, taxi operators, hotel workers and everyone whose life has been dramatically altered by this dangerous pandemic,” Mr. Richardson read.
 Mr. Richardson noted that the activities geared at supporting this years’ focus have been formulated to provide the public with information on several sub-themes. These include: ‘Living Through “Rainy Days” – How to Manage Your Money in Challenging Times,’ ‘It’s Happening online: Using the Internet as a Tool in the New normal’ and ‘Turning the Frown Upside Down.’

FIM in St Kitts and Nevis has been organized into activities for youth, community outreach and media products.

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