BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 19, 2023 (SKNIS) – During the Prime Minister’s Press Conference on Thursday, May 18, 2023, Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs, Senator the Honourable Isalean Phillip provided an update on the ongoing restructuring process of the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP).
“The restructuring process for the poverty alleviation cash transfer programme is not complete. It is an ongoing process. I would like to reiterate that we are trying to make this programme sustainable as a sustainable social assistance programme,” Minister Phillip stated.
The restructuring process commenced in January of this year with the opening of the application process and the validation of applicants. More than 12,000 applications were received. The restructuring process became necessary after the Government found several irregularities within the programme after assuming office.
“We are coming up to the first six-month mark. You would recall that the programme is now taking a [direction] where we are offering short-term assistance to some persons so that more persons can benefit from the resources that we have allotted and attributed to this programme, and so the end of June would mark the end of the first six-month cycle. As we are going along and as we are executing the programme, we recognized that there are some persons who have not been touched and we are making an effort to see how we can have more persons who have not received added for consideration, and so the ministry is planning to reopen the applications so that persons who were not able to complete their application can do so, as well as we can consider persons who have not received,” the minister added.
Minister Phillip said they have already recorded various successes under the programme, as a number of beneficiaries are set to graduate from the programme by the end of next month.
“As part of the process in terms of the restructuring, we did mention that we have a case management process, and that process has been successful in certain ways. We were able to support a small group of unemployed persons who’ve been beneficiaries of the programmes; some of those persons have been able to find employment with the support of the case managers and these persons would now be able to graduate off the programme at the end of the first six months so that we are then able to make room for other persons who have not received to be added,” the honourable minister said.
The Poverty Alleviation Programme provides a monthly stipend of $500 per month to households earning less than $3,000 per month.