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Grenada Launches 1st National Social Safety Net Policy Framework and Action Plan


Friday, March 14, 2014 8:21 PM- St. George's, Grenada
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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, March 14, 2014 – GIS:
On Thursday, March 13, 2014, the Government of Grenada, through the Ministry of Social Development and Housing, launched Grenada’s first National Social Safety Net Policy Framework.

Over than 100 guests, including representatives from the Government, NGOs and Civil Society, the Resident Diplomatic Corps, Developmental Partners and the media gathered at the Spice Basket’s Auditorium for the official unveiling of the document that will usher in a new and improved approach to the delivery of social assistance in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

The Policy Framework, which was developed with the technical and financial support of UNICEF Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area and UN Women Multi-Country Office –Caribbean, was designed to cover all Grenada’s social safety net programmes, including cash and in-kind transfers, price subsidies, active labour market programmes, waivers and exemptions, community development programmes, social care services and housing, water and sanitary services.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Social Development and Housing, the Hon. Delma Thomas said that the Policy Framework falls directly in line with the Government’s promise “to provide a just, inclusive, equitable and caring society where all citizens share the benefits of the country’s resources.”

“This Policy is in sync with the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy to ensure that the population of Grenada is protected against chronic poverty, destitution and social exclusion, and that citizens have full access to basic public services. It is an essential tool that is intended to guide Public Officers in the professional and fair delivery of services,” Minister Thomas said.

Christine Arab, Representative from UN Women Multi-Country Office –Caribbean said that through this launch, Grenada has made an exemplary move that other Caribbean Islands should follow.

“We will be taking this experience to the other Caribbean countries in the Region because we see this as an important form of peer pressure. This initiative is one of the strongest and most important we’ve seen in the Caribbean and UN Women looks forward to continuing to partner with the Government as is needed,” the UN Women official said.

Violet Speek-Warner, UNICEF’s Representative, said that the newly launched document “makes a remarkable shift toward a comprehensive multi-sectorial approach to reducing poverty, addressing gender equality and promoting human development, equity and growth in Grenada.”

Social Safety Net Programmes have been a long-term policy for the Government of Grenada and are considered a critical part of its wider social protection efforts to reduce poverty and promote equitable and sustainable development outcomes.

In his feature address, Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell said that in spite of the economic challenges that the country is facing, Government cannot and will not linger in implementing the policies and frameworks that will enhance holistic social development in Grenada.

“Even in our discussions with the IMF regarding the Home-Grown Structural Adjustment Programme, we were adamant on this very serious point; that we will neither remove nor reduce the assistance that we render to social programmes and our friends in the IMF understand this,” Dr. Mitchell said.

The Prime Minister stated that with the implementation of this strategy, Government not only intends to address the current needs of the nation’s most defenseless, but it is also determined to improve their position in life by creating opportunities that render them less dependent in the long-run.

 

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