The United Nations (UN) is partnering with St. Kitts and Nevis and three other Eastern Caribbean countries to pilot a project aimed at reducing poverty and inequalities, increasing youth employment, and enhancing social protection systems for households.
The regional programme entitled “Resilient Caribbean: Engaging and Training Youth, Strengthening Integrated Social Protection Sector Delivery Joint Programme” was launched at the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) Conference Room in Basseterre at a ceremony on Tuesday, October 04, 2022.
Didier Trebucq, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, attended the launch in St. Kitts and Nevis. He stated that the project is designed to help accelerate progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
“For us at the UN, putting the emphasis on youth empowerment, on young people, is paramount,” said Mr. Trebucq. “It is paramount because we have adopted the Youth 2030 strategy under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and we truly …believe in youth. Give a space to youth, give a voice to youth, working with youth rather than just working for youth. It is important to make sure that youth are inserted in productive activities of societies at large.”
The challenges of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, job losses and the economic slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the rising cost of fuel and goods, were mentioned as factors that have resulted in a reduced standard of living for millions of persons around the world.
Mr. Trebecq noted that initiatives led by the public sector, private sector, non-governmental agencies and other civil society groups will greatly benefit from this SDG Joint Programme.
“It will contribute to greater and easier access to social assistance as well as jobs and better income for those in greater need such as young people and women. As a result, we expect that the joint programme will increase the resilience of households and communities, … and also link young people to meaningful, formal sector employment or entrepreneurship activities,” the UN official said.
Innovative and evidence-based management operational tools that build up social protection resilience will be used in this joint programme.
The Resilient Caribbean: Engaging and Training Youth, Strengthening Integrated Social Protection Sector Delivery Joint Programme is being piloted in St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands. The opening ceremony featured an address by Senator the Honourable Isalean Phillip, Junior Minister and Minister for Youth Empowerment, Social Development et al. of St. Kitts and Nevis. Virtual addresses were delivered by Senator The Honourable David E. Andrew, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture – Grenada, The Honourable Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers, Minister of Social Development, Education, Youth, Culture and Sports – Anguilla, and the Honourable Marlon A. Penn, Minister of Health and Social Development – the British Virgin Islands.