Launch of public consultations on the revised social protection policy

The Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment will be discussing the revised draft National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) with the public from Tuesday May 17 to Wednesday May 25, 2022.

The policy review aims to ensure that the NSPP adequately addresses all dimensions of poverty, impacting citizens throughout their life cycle. Specifically, the revised NSPP now forecasts the impact of health, economic and environmental shocks on quality of life.

Highlights of the revised policy include increased labor market opportunities for eligible citizens, increased support and broader coverage for vulnerable citizens and communities in Saint Lucia, and a minimum standard of living guaranteed by income support.

Other key features include a strategy to move people off social assistance, an eligibility framework and Institutional strengthening mechanisms for effective service delivery at agency level.

Permanent Secretary Velda Joseph urges leaders and representatives of social support NGOs, community-based organizations and faith-based organizations to attend and participate in consultations so they can ensure the interests of their constituents are fully considered .

“Social protection programs are also demand-driven. If people don’t know they’re eligible for certain types of care and support, they won’t engage the system, and that defeats the purpose of creating these mechanisms.

The consultation schedule is as follows:

  • Soufrière, Choiseul and Canaries are scheduled for May 17 at the Leisure Inn, New Development Soufriere.
  • Gros Islet, Monchy, Babonneau, Castries Nord and Castries Center on May 18 to Pastoral Center, Marisule.
  • Castries/Anse La Raye area – May 19 at Jon Odlum Secondary School, Marigot.
  • Vieux Fort and Laborie and surroundings on May 24 at the NSDC in Vieux Fort.
  • Micoud and Dennery on May 25 at Chateau Heritage, Dennery.

All consultations begin at 5 p.m. Transportation will be made available to accommodate interested individuals to and from consultation locations

Joel C. Hicks