The Honourable Isalean Phillip, Junior Minister and Minister responsible for Youth Empowerment and Social Development et al, has welcomed the implementation of the United Nations Resilient Caribbean: Engaging and Training Youth, Strengthening Integrated Social Protection Sector Delivery Joint Programme in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“St. Kitts and Nevis is really happy to serve as a host for the launch of this Joint Sustainable Development Goal Programme, which is aimed at expanding universal and sustainable social protection systems and skills development for youth in the Caribbean,” she said at a ceremony marking the programme launch on Tuesday, October 04, 2022, at the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) Conference Room.

The Junior Minister noted that equitable social protection systems and the empowerment of young people are two critical goals of this new administration headed by Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew. The Prime Minister shared segments of this vision while addressing the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2022.

Minister Phillip further noted that youth employment and underemployment have been significant issues across the Caribbean and applauded the specific focus on this particular issue.

“We are critically aware that the COVID-19 pandemic eroded previous gains for young people and that the unequal recovery risks permanent scaring of economies and societies with serious implications for our youth’s future and particularly those who fall within the low and middle-income brackets,” the Minister stated.

As such, the minister added that government and other local stakeholders “will work with implementing UN agencies to ensure that this SDG Joint Project delivers sustainable benefits to all people across St. Kitts and Nevis, especially the poor and marginalized who depend on our social protection systems the most.”

The opportunity to help young people realize and achieve their full potential thereby growing and developing into productive citizens was also mentioned as an outcome of the programme that aligns with the goal of the St. Kitts and Nevis government.

The project will be implemented over the next two years.