BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 26, 2022 (SKNIS): At the Opening of the New Session of Parliament, which was held on October 25, 2022, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort Royal Ballroom, Her Excellency the Governor General’s Deputy Ms. Marcella Liburd, who delivered the Throne Speech in the absence of Governor-General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, outlined how the Government will revamp and strengthen the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) and the Alternative Pathways Lifestyle Programme (APLP) colloquially known as the ‘Peace Programme’.
“We will pay close attention to rationalizing our social protection programmes and reprioritizing them to support our people who need these interventions the most. Our Government will enhance the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) to serve as a social safety net to truly empower the most vulnerable and improve their standard of living, thereby eradicating indigence and significantly reducing poverty across the Federation. We have shared our view that there is a better way for the efficient and effective operation of the PAP. We have successfully transferred the Programme to the Ministry of Social Development, the most suitable Government institution to oversee the social safety net system. We are also well advanced with the rollout of the re-registration process. This has become necessary as there is ample evidence that no credible standards were used during the initial registration process to determine the eligibility of beneficiaries for the programme,” said the Governor General’s Deputy.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has made poverty alleviation a key priority of its governance agenda by economic diversification and job creation with the goal of raising the standard of living of every household across the Federation.
“When we look at the Alternative Lifestyle Pathway Programme, better known as the “PEACE Programme” and the way it has operated since its introduction, our Government believes that most citizens would agree that there is a better way for empowering our at-risk young men and women. Our Government will improve the PEACE Programme by making skills training an integral component for the participation of each beneficiary. Young men and women enrolled in the PEACE initiative would be given the opportunity to learn a marketable skill and will be provided with support to either acquire gainful employment or opportunities to start their own businesses. Participants in this Programme will also have a pathway for development and graduation. It is envisaged that the Programme’s graduates would become more positive and productive citizens and contribute to the overall development of the Federation,” said Her Excellency Liburd.
During the opening of the New Session of Parliament, elected constituency representatives took the Oaths or Affirmation of Allegiance as Members of Parliament before the newly elected Speaker of Parliament Honourable Ms. Lanein Blanchette. The next meeting of the National Assembly is scheduled for Thursday, October 27, 2022.