Title: National review
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098459/00006
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Title: National review
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Office of the Prime Minister
Place of Publication: Castries, Saint Lucia
Publication Date: January 16, 2010
Copyright Date: 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098459
Volume ID: VID00006
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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NATIONAL REVIEW


ST. JUDE HOSPITAL SITE
REDEVELOPMENT
LAYOUT


'1I


*III


*I A I [I] I[]


of the island's
second major
hospital by
fire last September, nationals
have come out in full sup-
port of plans to rebuild the
southern medical facility.
Under the guidance of a
task force that was urgently
formed two days after the fire
of September 9, 2009, contri-
butions have been pouring
in from nationals both here
and abroad, foreign govern-
ments and overseas asso-
ciations, while the corporate
community has also come
forward to contribute to the
rebuilding effort.
The St. Jude Hospital
Restoration Task Force has
over the last three months
attempted to raise public
awareness, gather funds


and support from the commu-
nity as well as from overseas to
facilitate a speedy design and re-
construction project.
The Task Force is chaired by
Prime Minister Stephenson King.
With the assistance from
PAHO, UNOPS, CEHI, other or-
ganizations, and individuals who
have devoted time and money
into restoring St. Jude's Hospital,
the plan is to break ground later
this month, for a new hospital to
be built at the same location as
the previous one.
In the rebuilding effort the
country has recognized the con-
tributions and pledges of friendly
governments and non-nationals
who are coming forward to help
out with the rebuilding of St.
Jude Hospital.
The Taiwanese Government has
offered to provide technical sup-


port and to devise a master plan
along with the Ministry of Health,
the St. Jude Team, and local archi-
tects to design a state-of-the-art
facility. On Monday October 19,
2009, the Embassy of the Repub-
lic of China (Taiwan) presented to
the government, a master plan for
the St. Jude Hospital.
The master plan encompasses
plans to design and rebuild St.
Jude Hospital to provide a world
class health care facility with in-
ternational accreditation stan-
dards that will also incorporate
a teaching component of health
related subject areas.
Numerous cheque presenta-
tions have taken place since the
fire, from local and foreign agen-
cies, private sector, students and
individuals as well as donations
of supplies.
Representatives from all over
the world have visited the St.


Jude site at the George Odlum
Stadium which is the temporary
location of St. Jude Hospital since
the fire, providing assessments of
the damage, ideas for reconstruc-
tion and continued monitoring of
the progress.
The Government of Saint Lucia
wishes to take this opportunity to
thank all who have so far contrib-
uted to the restoration efforts of
St. Jude Hospital including cor-
porate and tourism sectors, in-
dividuals and families, students,
St. Lucia associations based
overseas, local groups and other
associations, faith based organi-
zations, regional organizations,
foreign governments and inter-
national organizations for their
contributions whether in kind,
cash, equipment, solidarity and
for their general support.
The Government is also partic-
ularly heartened by the patience


and understanding of the
sporting fraternity and the
cooperation of Sports St.
Lucia Inc. in agreeing to
temporarily accommodate
the St. Jude Hospital at the
George Odlum Stadium.
The Government of Saint
Lucia also takes this oppor-
tunity to thank anonymous
contributors and everyone
who made cash contribu-
tions directly into the bank
accounts that have been set
up for the reconstruction of
St. Jude Hospital.
In this issue of National
Review (Page 3) we have
listed some of our many
benefactors. We may not
have included everyone,
but we will endeavour to
do so and acknowledge
additional contributions in
the next issue.


ST. JUDE HOSPITAL SITE
REDEVELOPINE JU EIT
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NATIONAL REVIEW


Saturday January 16, 2010


SEASON'S GREETINGS 2009


by the Honourable Stephenson King

Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs,

Economic Planning and National Development

December 29, 2009


My fellow Saint Lucians,
ladies and gentle-
men permit me this
opportunity; on the dawn of
a new day and a new year, to
commence my greetings to you
with a quotation from Winston
Churchill, who in 1941, standing
beside President Harry Truman
in Washington, DC, appealed to
his war weary listeners by say-
ing: "Let the children have their
night of fun and laughter.... let
us share in full, in their unstinted
pleasure, before we turn again
to the stern tasks in the year
that lies before us. Now, by our
sacrifice and daring, these same
children shall not be robbed of
their inheritance or denied the
right to live in a free and decent
world."
Fellow Saint Lucians, in this
festive season, at the sunrise
of a new year, I am aware that
we are weary from fighting a
global recession that has placed
tremendous pressure on our al-
ready limited resources. During
the year just gone, we were com-
pelled to make further sacrifices
and to tighten our belts that al-
ready nip at our waists.
We were faced with: rising
food and fuel prices; instability
in the tourism sector; sustained
international pressure on our
banana industry; unstable em-
ployment figures and some dis-


turbing trends in our beautiful
country, among them the grow-
ing violence and criminal activity
against our own and visitors we
welcome to our shores.
Nevertheless, we were also
blessed with the requisite com-
petence and capacity to weather
those difficult challenges and to
plan for the future.
As I mentioned in my New
Year's Address at the begin-
ning of last year, we have been
through recessions in times past,
and we have learnt how to be re-
silient, and to survive. Because
of our tenacity and our prudence,
we have seen resilience in many
of our sectors:
Agriculture has been further
diversified and our new invest-
ments in this sector have yield-


ed an increase in production by
32%
Visitors' arrivals grew from
100,000 in 1989 to over 650,000
in 2009. This continued growth
has provided more revenue for
our country in recent times and
we are extremely grateful for its
impact.
Meanwhile, in the social sector
the establishment of the SaintLucia
Social Development Fund (SSDF)
with its appendage of social safe-
ty-net programmes, particularly
the Holistic Opportunity for Per-
sonal Empowerment (HOPE) has
brought much hope to our youth,
unskilled, skilled and vulnerable
citizens in our society.
At the regional level we have
worked hard to ensure that the
global financial crisis did not af-


Agriculture has been further diversified and our new investments
in this sector have yielded an increase in production by 32%


fect our banking and financial
sector and so far our efforts to-
gether with the support and ini-
tiatives of the Eastern Caribbean
Central Bank have proven to date
to be very successful.
Your Government remains
steadfast in its resolve to deliv-
er a better quality of life and a
higher standard of living for all
Saint Lucians. In this regard we
were able to continue to support
the subsidies that we introduced
earlier last year. Our social safety
net programme ensured that our
poor and vulnerable were well
protected from the recession and
to cushion the shocks caused by
the worst financial crisis ever
since the Great Depression.
In all of this, one thing that was
quite clear to all Saint Lucians dur-
ing this last year was that we had
to make every effort to ensure that
the gains of independence over the
last thirty years were not eroded
by such exogenous shocks.
Yet, through all this challenge,
domestically and internationally
and even amidst the daunting
criminal activities of a few who
are bent on destroying our social
and moral fabric and our interna-
tional reputation, we remained
resolute and loving as a people,
caring for each other's well-be-
ing, about each other's safety and
about each other's children.


Visitors' arrivals grew from 100,000 in 1989 to over 650,000 in 2009


We demonstrated our benevo-
lence by pooling our resources
for the benefit of our country.
Nowhere has this been more ap-
parent than in the national, re-
gional and international efforts
demonstrated by our citizens and
friends, who have joined Gov-
ernment's determined effort to
ensure the commencement of the
reconstruction of St. Jude Hospi-
tal this New Year.
Our efforts will be further bol-
stered this year as we conclude
negotiations for the construc-
tion of a new airport terminal
at the Hewanorra International
Airport, while new investments
in the water sector, the recom-
mencement of three major hotel
projects and the opening of the
Bay Walk Mall, comprising 70
stores, 30 apartment units along
with the country's first casino.
These are just a few of the de-
velopment programs to be under-
taken by government this year.
Citizens, visitors and friends;
and on this occasion particularly,
the constituents of Castries North
who I have the distinct privilege
and pleasure to represent: Let me
seize this opportunity to wish
you every success in this New
Year and to encourage you to
continue to build on the achieve-
ments of last year.
Let this New Year be one of
patriotism to country caring for
your fellowmen, sharing with
your neighbor and uniting as
one people in community under
God's guidance.
I pray that this Festive Season
is one of tranquility love and hap-
piness, and this New Year brings
you good health, peace and pros-
perity throughout.
To all of you I say Happy Holi-
days and a Happy and prosper-
ous New Year.
May the Good Lord protect
you through. I thank you.


Page 2







Saturday January 16, 2010


NATIONAL REVIEW


"Rising From The Ashes -



Rebuilding The Love"


Under the theme: "Rising
from the Ashes Rebuild-
ing the Love" a massive
rally will be held next month in
an effort to raise funds for the
reconstruction of the island's sec-
ond major hospital that was gut-
ted in a fire last September.
Slated for February 28, 2009,


the rally seeks to galvanize public
support for the St Jude rebuilding
effort and in particular provide
Saint Lucians the opportunity to
tangibly express their commit-
ment to the reconstruction cam-
paign.
This rally will also form part of
the official programme to mark


the island's 31st. independence
anniversary.
Since the fire of September 9,
2009, Prime Minister Stephenson
King formed the St. Jude Task
Force on September 11th, 2009
with the mandate to: "raise pub-
lic awareness, gather funds and
support from the local commu-


nity as well as from overseas and
to facilitate a speedy design and
reconstruction project".
From this, the St Jude National
Fundraising Rally sub-committee
was soon formed as an off-shoot
of the St Jude Task Force compris-
ing over twenty representatives
of a number of stakeholder bod-
ies such as community based or-
ganisations, relevant government
ministries, local government au-
thorities, religious organizations,
the St. Jude Hospital, enforce-
ment agencies and the office of
the Prime Minister.
The programme for the rally
will include activities such as:
songs, dance, drumming, drama,
poetry and other cultural perfor-
mances.


Addresses will also be deliv-
ered by senior government offi-
cials and a brief history of the St
Jude Hospital will be given.
Tributes will also be paid to
those who tragically died in the
fire as well as to the many heroes
who stood out during the disas-
ter and rescue effort.
Saint Lucians are expected
to come out in large numbers
to support and take part in the
fundraising rally and to join the
government in its bid to rebuild
St Jude Hospital.
In coming weeks, a public rela-
tions campaign will be launched
to inform and mobilize all Saint
Lucians with an aim to getting
more participation from the
public.


List of Contributors to the Restoration of St. Jude Hospital


Corporate Sector
Caribbean Metals
Consolidated Foods Ltd
Royal Bank of Canada
Bank of Nova Scotia
Windward Island Gases
First Caribbean International Bank
Bank of St. Lucia
St. Lucia Electricity Services
Michael Chastanet
R.J. Clarke Ltd
Fast Cash
Arnott Valmont, CBE, SLC
National Fair Trade
NLBA
WIZO
Consolidated Foods Ltd. (Staff)
Kein's Trucking
Prio's Country Club
Morne Bakery St. Lucia Ltd.
Mirache 2000 Barber Shop
Hewanorra Service Station
Total Health Care Pharmacy Patrons
Bank of St. Lucia (Staff)
Johna's Barber Shop
St. Anthony's Medical Center
Cyrill Domelly Contruction Co. Ltd.
LIME
J.Q. Charles Group of Companies
SLASPA

Schools
Gros Islet Pre-School
Plain View Combined School
Choiseul Secondary Students Council
Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary
School Campus B
Calypso Association of Grambling
State University,USA
Augier Combined School
Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary
School Campus A
Vieux Fort Infant School

Tourism Sector
Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet
Hotel Charity
Bay Gardens Hotel
Island Windsurfing Ltd. (The Reef)
Cool Breeze Rental
Red Cap Association
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line


Individuals
Vivian Chastanet
Patricia Allain
Joseph Harris
Francisca Henry
Dennis Auguste
Rose Beausoliel
Leonie Samuel
Marise & Wendel Skeete
Monique Jean
Laurencia Mondesir
Janice & Remy Avril
Aaron Hutchinson
Paula Augustin
Sylvia Moonie
Dr Vincent Hughes
Anthony Griffith
Ignatius Evans
Anslem Daniel
Peter Martin
Majorie William/Cyril Boriel
Arvin Denis
Mc Kaye Mc Farlane
Helene Dornelly
Evariste Simeon
Theresa Antoine
John Burns
Jerome Herda
Stanley Lloyd Auguste
Nigel Eudoxie
Anita Flavien
Mr. Webster Orie
Norbert C Edward
& Deloris Francis-Edward
Mr. Denis Ishmael
Jones Eugene
Lazarus Alphonse
Hubert Moonie
Louis Promese
Elizabeth Henry
Mathew David
Christiana Sylvester
Juliana Joseph
Merlin Didier
Angel Gamier
Jacob Tobierre
Petrona Bartlett
Cynthia Fontene
Mary Jeremie
Peter Mark
Herwin Joseph
Donald E. Hoach Sr.
Diana Thomas


Lester Mathurin
Bernard Patchett
Gregory Melchoir
Deborah Francois
Deborah Moses
Paulene Peltier Coutter
Rose Hilton Taylor

Local Associations
Southern Taxi Co. Service Association, Vieux Fort
The Tropics Band
Soufriere Taxi Association
Concerned Citizens Group of Vieux Fort
Soufriere Mothers & Fathers Group
Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafarian Inc.
Etangs Health Center
Art of Living Foundation
Extra Love Band & Rotaract South
National Farmers & General Workers
La Ressource Mothers and Fathers Group
Soufriere Prayer Group
Southern Region Admin Support Group


Regional
Organizations
OECS-(Pharmaceutical
Procurement Service)
Caribbean Environmental
Health Institute

Faith Based
Organizations
Victory Pentecostal Church
St. Lucia Mission of Seventh
Day Adventists
Church of God Holiness-
Choiseul
Fr. J. Justin
Tabernacle Baptist Church


Diaspora
St. Lucia American
Progressive League
St. Lucia Martinique
Association
Norbert C. Edward and
Delores Francis-Edward, UK


Foreign Governments
and International
Organizations
Government of Israel
Taiwanese Government
Embassy of the Republic of China on
Taiwan
Candian High Commission/Govn't of
Canada
U.S. Southern Command
MEDSHARE
Food for the Poor
Pan American Health Organization
UNOPS
United States Embassy
The French Dept of the Americas
OAS
Consul General of St. Lucia in Toronto
Consul General of St. Lucia in Martinique
Good News Project, USA


WOULD YOU LIKE TO DONATE?

Several funds have been established at local banks, where ac-
counts have been established to allow the public to assist in any
way they can.
Below is a list of these accounts where funds will go directly to
the restoration efforts:

BANKS : ACCOUNT NOS.
Bank of St. Lucia 901266335
Bank of Nova Scotia : 2001980
First National Bank : 6002688
Royal Bank of Canada : 1008234

Cheque contributions from overseas donors can be made out to
"The Accountant General."
If you would like to assist with the relief efforts for the St. Jude
Hospital, make formal presentations to the Prime Minister or
for further information and updates on activities being carried
out to re-establish health services in the South of the island,
please call Kimberly Mathurin at hotline: (758) 450-5833 (JUDE)
at the Office of the Prime Minister.
You can also reach the following officials: Ms Esther Brathwaite
- Permanent Secretary (Special Initiatives) at (758) 468-2169 or
Dr. Marilyn Morris Policy Advisor at (758) 468-2170.


Page 3








NATIONAL REVIEW


Saturday January 16, 2010


Under the new license agreement,

vehicles under 3 tons will pay $150

and those 3 tons and above $300


Motor vehicle owners in
Saint Lucia will as of
this month January
2010, be required to pay an an-
nual license for their motor ve-
hicles.
That's according to the Trans-
port Division of the Ministry of
Communications and Works.
Under the new license agree-
ment, vehicles under 3 tons will


pay $150 and those 3 tons and
above $300.
The Division further states
that motor vehicle owners are
required to go through the nor-
mal procedure of inspecting and
insuring their vehicles. Presenta-
tion of the insurance and inspec-
tion will be followed by a simple
verification process and payment
of the required fee.


A sticker representing proof
of roadworthiness, insurance,
registration and license payment
will be issued. This sticker must
be displayed on the front wind-
screen of the motor vehicle.
The new licenses will allow
the transfer of each motor ve-
hicle into "ATLAS" Advanced
Transport & Licensing Authority
System.


Developed with the help of the
Taiwanese International Cooper-
ation & Development Fund, this
project is being done in 2 phases.
Phase 1 was launched in Octo-
ber 2009 with a focus on the issu-
ance of new drivers' license cards
and motor vehicle registration.
This commences the replace-
ment of the current AS400 data-
base by a system that will: (i) ad-
dress the loopholes identified in
the current system, (ii) provide
superior security features, (iii)
meet the needs of the public and
other clients, (iv) incorporate rev-
enue forecasting requirements
and (v) facilitate interfacing with
appropriate stakeholders.
The new system will make


provision for: (a) driver registra-
tion and management, (b) motor
vehicle registration and manage-
ment, (c) reports, (d) audit logs &
trails, (e) high-end security fea-
tures, (f) interfacing facilities (for
government & non-government
departments) and (g) issuance of
drivers' license cards.
Phase 2 of the project will fo-
cus on addressing the develop-
ment of modules for route and
taxi permits, driving Instructors
matters, production of notices
and reminders to customers,
such as reminders for payments
of fees and other license related
permits.
ATLAS will gradually replace
the current AS400 system.


Agro-Processing,



The Way To Go!


Construction to begin on a
multi-million dollar facil-
ity at Babonneau
In a bid to diversify Saint Lu-
cia's agricultural sector and to
enable the island to become more
self-sufficient with agricultural
products, the Government of
Saint Lucia is aggressively pur-
suing agro-processing as an al-
ternative to "straight farming".
Last month officials here ob-
served the sod turning of an agro
processing facility in Fond Assau,
Babonneau that is expected to
be up and running by mid-year.
The plant is to funded in part by
the Taiwanese government that
has allocated EC$1.5m for the
construction of the Fond Assau
Agro-processing Facility.
Located on the grounds of the
old Fond Assau boxing plant, the
new facility will churn out paper
from pseudo stems a technol-
ogy of turning banana waste into
paper as well as manufacture
vacuumed packed products for
export, made from locally grown
produce such as dasheen, green
plantain and green bananas.
Saint Lucia's Agriculture Min-
ister Ezekiel Joseph has fully
endorsed the project stating his
commitment and excitement


about the prospect of an agro-
processing facility here.
Speaking at the recent sod-
turning ceremony in Fond Assau,
Mr. Joseph emphasized on the
need for such a facility: "There
is a need for us to utilise our lo-
cally grown products to produce
downstream products that can
provide much greater returns to
our farmers.
"As the minister for agricul-
ture, my ministry thought it was
important for us to go the di-
rection of agro-processing and
to revisit some of the gains and
experiences which were accom-
plished in the past, to enable us
to undertake this project and
make it a reality."
He said he was especially ex-
cited about the idea of the island
producing vacuum packed prod-
ucts that can be marketed locally,
regionally and internationally.
"With regard to the interna-
tional markets, there is already a
great demand for vacuum-packed
products, so I would like to indi-
cate that the new agro-processing
facility will be operating at inter-
national standards. Because we
will be dealing with food, we will
have to satisfy ourselves that we
are meeting all the requirements


to ensure that we are in a position
to export our products. I was in
the UK recently, and I met with
several supermarkets that have
indicated their willingness to
purchase vacuum-packed prod-
ucts from us" the Minister said.
He added that the Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO),
will be closely involved in train-
ing nationals in the area of agro-
processing in preparation for the
new facility.
Taiwan's Ambassador to Saint
Lucia, Ambassador Tom Chou
says when completed the facil-
ity will play an important role in
creating employment for locals
particularly in the rural areas.
"The role of the Taiwanese
government in this project is to
provide technical support and
financial assistance to renovate
and equip this facility"
The agro-processing facility
is the latest in several projects
financed by the Taiwanese gov-
ernment for the development of
agriculture in Saint Lucia.
Meanwhile, Permanent Sec-
retary in the Ministry of Agri-
culture Hubert Emmanuel says
in the government's continuing
efforts to diversify the local agri-
cultural sector, funds have been


Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Ezechiel Joseph and Taiwanese
Ambassador Tom Chou Turn the Sod at the Site of the Project


allocated for the renovation and
upgrade of an already existing
agro-processing facility in Anse
Ger, Micoud.
He said when fully operational
the two agro-processing facilities
will have the potential to transform
the island's agriculture sector.
"For years we have been en-
gaged in primary agriculture,


but as a deliberate policy effort,
the ministry of agriculture has
recognized the need to engage
our farmers in agro-processing
in order to add value to our lo-
cal products. With the assistance
of the Taiwanese government, we
are now ready to enter that next
phase of our agricultural devel-
opment," the Permanent Secre-
tary said.


Page 4







Saturday January 16, 2010


Saint Lucia Youth


Make Sweet Music!!


music programme target-
ing youth at risk in the
community of Marchand
and supported by the Organisa-
tion of American States (OAS)
continues to flourish with 54
young people from the area
learning the finer skills of string
instruments.
This is part of an OAS initia-
tive involving St Lucia, Jamaica
and Haiti that each form a pilot
project in a special Caribbean
Youth Orchestra Programme
targeting youth at risk by pro-
viding them with intensive
training in orchestral instru-
ments and choir over an initial
three-year period.
The programme is closely mod-
eled on the very successful Youth
Orchestra Movement in Venezu-
ela and a similar programme in
Colombia.
The programmes are founded
on the belief that a training in
orchestral playing and choir for
youth at risk in areas of high
urban density, with a high inci-
dence of unemployment, gang
activity, drug abuse, domestic
violence and crime, will make a
significant difference in amelio-
rating the lives of those young
students who participate and
also improve the general quality
of life in the community in which
the project is based.
A collaborative venture be-
tween OAS, the Ministry of So-
cial Transformation, the Ministry
of Education and the St Lucia
School of Music, the programme
has been progressing success-
fully according to Musical Direc-


tor John Bailey of the School of
Music.
To date, the OAS has provided
up to 54 string instruments in-
cluding: violin, viola, cello and
double bass for the young resi-
dents of Marchand aged 10 to 18
years old.
A full symphony orchestra
which is the final goal of the local
programme comprises: Strings;
Woodwind flute, clarinet, oboe,
bassoon; Brass trumpet, trom-
bone, tuba, French horn and Per-
cussion drums, triangle, cymbal
etc.
Mr. Bailey explained that since
string instruments are harder to
learn and take a longer time to
master the art, it was decided
that the first phase of the local
programme would be to instruct
the young people in strings.
He added that in the upcom-
ing second phase of establishing
a full-fledged symphony orches-
tra, youth will learn woodwind -
flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon
and from then onto brass and
percussion.
The current phase of training
young people ends formally
at the end of this school year.
The Youth orchestra will then
recruit new youngsters for the
upcoming new school year be-
ginning September 2010 to add
the new segment onto the or-
chestra.
To date the response to the
programme has been more than
encouraging Mr. Bailey said with
the young residents of Marchand
being consistent in their interest


and in turning up for regular les-
sons after school.
He said their enthusiasm has
paid off as was seen in a recent
end of term concert in which the
youngsters took part and which


received wide acclaim from OAS
representatives in Washington
when the concert was broadcast
live by web streaming.
He said the Ministries of Edu-
cation and Social Transforma-


tion are also very pleased with
the progress of the programme,
believing that if they give disad-
vantaged youth an instrument
to learn and play, it would help
them grow into productive and
responsible citizens.


Saint Lucians will be bet-
ter able to avail them-
selves of the expertise
and technology of the Cuban
medical field with the recent
opening of an Ophthalmo-
logical Centre recently opened
at the Victoria Hospital.
Minister of Health and
Wellness Dr. Keith Monde-
sir lauded the facility saying
that it will cater to the needs
of Saint Lucians, as well as to
that of residents of neighbour-
ing islands.
The Cuban Eye Centre
of Excellence was formally
opened at the Victoria Hospi-


The ribbon is cut, symbolizing the formal opening of the Cuban
Eye Centre of Excellence at the Victoria Hospital


To date more than

40,000 Saint
Lucians have

received eye care
under the ongoing
Cuban Eye
Programme


tal last month and is staffed by
over seventeen highly qualified
Cuban eye care professionals.
The new ophthalmological
unit represents the continuation


of assistance given to Saint Lu-
cia by the Cuban government,
particularly in the area of eye
care, a project that began in
2005.
The new Cuban Eye Centre
of Excellence at Victoria Hos-
pital comprises two surgical
rooms and the most modern
equipment in ophthalmologi-
cal care.
To date more than 40,000
Saint Lucians have received
eye care under the ongoing
Cuban Eye Programme in-
cluding close to 6,000 surgical
operations having been con-
ducted, providing better eye-
sight to nationals.


NATIONAL REVIEW


Page 5


At the recent end-of-term concert, the Marchand youngsters thrill the crowd with their musical
prowess on the Cello and other string instruments








NATIONAL REVIEW


Saturday January 16, 2010


Keynote Address by PRIME MI



At SOCIAL POLICY SYMPC


H on. Minister of So-
cial Transformation,
Youth and Sports,
Hon Leonard Spider
Montoute, Permanent Secretar-
ies, Deputy Permanent Secre-
taries and Programme Officers,
Development Policy Advisor, Dr
Marlyn Morris, Programme Dis-
cussants, Symposium Facilita-
tor, Mr Ezra Jn Baptiste, Invited
Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have much pleasure in wel-
coming you all to this very sig-
nificant workshop. Just over a
decade ago, at the World Summit
for Social Development held in
Copenhagen, Denmark, the lead-
ers of the world came together
and in a display of unity and
unanimity not often seen in inter-
national fora, committed to tack-
ling the issue of global poverty in
all its forms and to work to build
a better world for everyone.
This timely and most impor-
tant vision was encapsulated in
the Millennium Declaration and
the eight Millennium Develop-
ment Goals which embody the
framework of this most impor-
tant initiative. The centrepiece
of the Millennium Development
Goals speaks to the issue of pov-
erty and dictates that all mem-
ber states of the United Nations
pursue a strategy of reducing by
half the number of people living
in extreme poverty and hunger
by the year 2015. The other goals
are complementary to this effort
and include; achieving universal
primary education; promoting
gender equality and empower-
ment of women; reducing child
and maternal mortality; combat-
ing HIV/AIDS and other diseases
and ensuring environmental sus-
tainability.


Achievement of these Mil-
lennium Development Goals, is
underscored by a commitment
on the part of wealthier nations
to build a global partnership for
development. In reality, the an-
ticipated support from the de-
veloped countries has not been
forthcoming as expected. Nev-
ertheless, the Government of
Saint Lucia hastens to renew its
commitment to the reduction of
poverty as exemplified by cur-
rent programmes now being im-
plemented such as the Koudmen
Ste. Lucie Indeed we are seek-
ing not only to reduce extreme
poverty by half, but through the
mentioned programmes to eradi-
cate conditions of indigence or
extreme poverty experienced by
unacceptably large segments of
our society.
There appears to be growing
consensus that poverty is a vio-
lation of human rights and that
promoting human rights can
reduce poverty. Consistent with
the principle of social inclusion
embraced by the Government of
Saint Lucia we as a Government
are committed to the improve-
ment of the standard of living of
those most in need. The current
economic crisis has not enabled
our cause.
A world renowned donor
agency named OXFAM, has
warned that another 100 million
people worldwide may be forced
into poverty by rising food and
energy prices.
The urgency to act has become
a national priority for the Gov-
ernment of Saint Lucia and in this
regard a comprehensive National
Poverty Reduction Strategy is
currently being developed by
Government through the Minis-


try of Social Transformation and
in collaboration with the Carib-
bean Development Bank.
Despite St Lucia's categoriza-
tion as middle income and the
significant investments in social
development in recent times, St
Lucia' economic achievements
can be described as fragile, given
its high level of vulnerability to
external shocks, such as hurri-
canes, commodity price fluctua-
tions, and global economic crises.
Price increases in food and fuel
and the global economic crisis
have contributed to a reduction
in growth, job losses, reduction
in employment opportunities
and declining remittances. These
situations expose many poor and
vulnerable households to in-
creased risks and threaten their
sustainable livelihoods. St. Lucia
therefore faces significant chal-
lenges in ensuring an adequate
safety net in the face of economic
and environmental pressures and
the changing social landscape.
A 2009 Social Safety Net As-
sessment Report supported by
the United Nations Children
Fund, The United Nations De-
velopment Fund and the World
Bank has revealed that despite
some good social indicators for
St Lucia such as low levels of ma-
ternal and infant mortality, uni-
versal primary education, low
fertility, and increasing life ex-
pectancy, there exist in parallel,
high and increasing levels of pov-
erty 25.1% in 1995 and 28.8% in
2005/06 and the incidence of chil-
dren in poverty has been record-
ed as higher than adults living
in poverty. Over 50% of the poor
are under the age of 20 The inci-
dence of poverty is slightly higher
among men than among women,
29% and 25% respectively. The
incidence of poverty among fe-
male headed households (21.2%)
is about the same as among male
headed households (22%).
These are interesting figures
that point to the need to re-exam-
ine our gender and age related
social development policy and
programming focus, to deter-
mine the extent to which inter-
ventions are meeting the needs
of those who are really in dire
need of social assistance This
also raises the related question as
to how well existing policies and
programme intervention initia-
tives are helping households to
manage their social, economic


and environmental vulnerabili-
ties which according to the 2009
Social Safety Net Assessment Re-
port is due to: Chronic poverty and
the inter-generational transmission
of poverty, transient poverty, and
vulnerability to p.;.. /. Risks that
threaten human capital development
of children and adolescents, who are
particularly vulnerable because they
are unable to care for themselves;
Limited human capital, unemploy-
ment, and risky lifestyles among
youth; Limited or no income due to
underemployment, unemployment,
disease, or disability among working
age women and men; Loss of income
due to retirement and disease/dis-
ability among the H. i. and Needs
of special groups, including single
headed households, the elderly tak-
ing care of children, persons with
disabilities, migrants, and persons
Sf. .t.I by HIV/AIDS and/or non-
communicable diseases. (2009 Social
Safety Net Assessment Report)
The emphasis on the reduction
of poverty is a high priority for
St. Lucia The Government has
committed itself to the reduction
of poverty as an important factor
towards the achievement of eq-
uitable and sustainable develop-
ment, and the attainment of the
Millennium Development Goals.
These goals, which we seek to
vigorously pursue, provide a
framework to help respond to a
number of developmental chal-
lenges which are economic, social
and environmental in nature.
Poverty represents an impor-
tant barrier to the achievement
of social cohesion and is often a
subtle, but major cross-cutting
issue in other areas of social de-
velopment which include: high
incidence of crime; high rates of
adolescent pregnancies; the pro-
liferation of unhealthy lifestyles;
particularly those that involve
substance abuse, and risky sex-
ual behaviour; increases in the
importance of vagrancy and the
HIV/AIDS pandemic that has
reached critical proportions, with
potentially devastating impacts
on society and the economy.
The current global economic
crisis will serve as a major test
to the social and economic resil-
ience of our small island devel-
oping state as we endeavour to
navigate the turbulent waters of
international trade. These dif-
ficult conditions have in recent
times devastated the mainstay
of our agricultural economies
and indications are, the immedi-


ate future of the Tourist industry
upon which so many of our is-
lands depend for their economic
survival, appears under an immi-
nent threat.
The urgency to act has be-
come a national priority for the
Government of Saint Lucia and
in this regard, a comprehensive
package of social safety nets, and
economic stimulation measures
are currently being pursued.
We have implemented some
Social Safety Net Programmes in
recent times. These include:- Kou-
demein Ste. Lucie Programme
- Ministry of Social Transfor-
mation (A programme of the St
Lucia Social Development Fund
(SSDF) The programme focuses
on the family as a unit of inter-
vention in the fight against pov-
erty. It seeks to empower indi-
gent families with the necessary
psycho-social support necessary
to improve their quality of life in
various dimensions.
Though we have made strides
in achieving these goals and
associated targets we are still
grappling with what appears to
be a never ending war against
poverty.
Currently, poor families in
three pilot areas of Saint Lucia are
receiving special assistance with
the introduction of the Koudmen
Ste. Lucie. This ambitious so-
cial protection programme will
cater to the needs of our poor-
est households by the provision
of a range of direct services in-
cluding, psycho-social support,
cash transfers and provision of
training and employment op-
portunities which will redound
to an overall improvement in the
socio-economic circumstances of
these families.
The work of supporting insti-
tutions such as the Poverty Re-
duction Fund and Basic Needs
Trust Fund now amalgamated
to form the St Lucia Social De-
velopment Fund (SSDF), in the
thrust for the reduction of pov-
erty, must be commended. Each
year millions of dollars have been
spent by these institutions to help
improve the quality of life of the
poorer citizens of the country.
Interventions range from im-
provements to water supply
systems, construction of foot-
paths and home improvement
to capacity building and skills
training. The skills training
programme has been particu-


Page 6







Saturday January 16, 2010


NATIONAL REVIEW


MINISTER STEPHENSON KING




)SIUM November 16,2009


lar popular with large numbers
unemployed young people par-
ticipating. Training programmes
are also gender sensitive with
increasing numbers of women
opting for training in tradition-
ally male-dominated vocations
such as auto body repair and
refrigeration.
National efforts at poverty
reduction are also strengthened
by the programmes of the Na-
tional Skills Development Cen-
tre, the OECS Skills for Inclusive
Growth, and the James Belgrave
Micro-enterprise Development
Fund. Many young people are
given a second chance by par-
ticipating in the many training
opportunities offered by the
Centre. There is also the Youth
Business Trust being implement-
ed by the St Lucia Development
Bank to facilitate young entre-
preneurs in establishing busi-
ness enterprises. For this Gov-
ernment it is not sufficient to train
our youth in acquiring a skill bet
to assist them in becoming em-
ployers rather than employees,
thereby encouraging business
development and expansion of
that particular sector. In parallel,
unemployed persons with viable
business ideas can also receive
both technical support and credit
from the BelFUND. Hundreds
of micro-enterprises throughout
the island have benefited from
the excellent support provided
to young entrepreneurs by the
Fund.
Public Assistance Programme
- Ministry of Health This pro-
gramme provides public assis-
tance and welfare services to
vulnerable groups within the
society to alleviate the impact of
poverty. It entails the assessment
and payment of a monthly al-
lowance to citizens of the state as
a result of their socio-economic
circumstances. The following
groups are eligible for public
assistance and welfare services:
Indigent persons; Disabled per-
sons;; Persons infected and af-
fected by HIV/AIDS; Children
in Care; Elderly persons and Out
Patients of the Mental Health
Facility.
Other services provided to
vulnerable groups under this
programme include: Burial as-
sistance; Spectacles assistance;
Admission to Senior Citizens'
Home; Educational Assistance;
Medical Exemptions and Disas-
ter/Fire Assistance


The Textbook Rental Pro-
gramme Ministry of Educa-
tion The Textbook Rental Pro-
gramme is principally to assist
disadvantaged students. Benefi-
ciaries are required to pay an an-
nual fee of $175.00. This is solely
for the purpose of sustaining the
initiative.
The Book Bursary Programme
- Ministry of Education The
Book Bursary Programme pro-
vides textbooks for student at-
tending primary and secondary
schools in St. Lucia. Students
are officially recommended for
a bursary at the school level by
the principal, councilor or class
room teacher, a welfare officer in
the family court or a district rep-
resentative.
The School Feeding Pro-
gramme Ministry of Education
- The programme is specifically
aimed at feeding underprivileged
children who were regularly ab-
sent because of their low socio
economic status. The programme
is open to all children now and it
presently serves approximately
7,110 beneficiaries.
Holistic Opportunities For
Personal Empowerment (HOPE)
- Ministry of Social Transforma-
tion This programme facilitates
labour absorption, and help to
protect the indigent, poor and
vulnerable from the scourge of
unemployment and the vaga-
ries of seasonal employment
such as characterises the Tour-
ism and to a lesser extent Banana
Industries.
The objectives of the pro-
gramme are the following: In-
crease food security of house-
holds; Absorption of a segment
of the pool of unskilled persons
into labour market; Provide basic
skills training; Provide seasonal
relief to households in support
of education, health, nutrition
etc and Functions as a vital social
safety net.
Expenditures on the Safety
Net Expenditures on social as-
sistance was estimated atEC$34.1
million (US$12.6 million) in
FY08/09. This represented less
than 1.3% of GDP and 2.9% of
central government expendi-
tures. Between FY06/07 and
FY08/09, social assistance spend-
ing decreased by 5% in nominal
terms and 14% in real terms. The
FY09/10 budget included an esti-
mated 43% real increase in social


assistance, driven largely by the
addition of programs and proj-
ects implemented by the SSDF.
Approximately 54% of social as-
sistance expenditures is funded
from the capital budget, mostly
with donor funding. The SSDF
accounts for the largest share
of social assistance spending -
35.5% in FY08/09. In contrast,
Public Assistance absorbs about
11% of social assistance expendi-
tures. Student welfare assistance
and school feeding take up 2.2%
and 3.8%, respectively.
While we are committed, we
recognize however, that the need
is great and funds are limited and
that we must be creative, efficient
and effective in the allocation
and use of resources for social
investment.
We recognize that our brothers
and sisters living in poverty are
able agents of their own change,
but they are in need of the neces-
sary support to enable each and
every one of them to achieve their
personal dreams and a promis-
ing future for their children. .We
should as a nation recommit our-
selves to the noble fight against
poverty, and to the eventual
achievement of the eight Millen-
nium Development Goals by the
year 2015..
We are mindful of the fact that
in our context, poverty is both
pervasive and multi-dimension-
al. Complex issues such as pover-
ty require multiple interventions
to bring about the most desir-
able outcomes. Each of the in-
terventions by these institutions
outlined previously, is carefully
designed as complementary ele-
ments in the poverty reduction
milieu.
We cannot ignore the plight
of the poor and vulnerable. We
cannot just hope and pray that
growth in the economy will pro-
vide the surplus needed, to re-
distribute incomes and provide
for essential goods, facilities and
services, needed by our people
from the limited and ever shrink-
ing public sector investment
resources.
In these challenging times we
must look within to find inno-
vative means of harnessing all
available resources of the public,
private and civil society sectors,
toward growing our economy
and providing for the economic
development and social change
necessary for the qualitative im-


provements in the lives of our
people.
Above all, we need to ensure
sustainable growth of our econ-
omy to provide the financial
resources to support these pro-
grammes on a sustainable basis.
We can no longer depend mainly
on foreign development coopera-
tion and preferential treatments
in trading with our traditional
foreign development partners.
Therefore, given the devel-
opmental challenges we face at
this juncture, as a government
we see it as important to focus
our efforts on the following: Sta-
bilization of the Economy; In-
vestment promotion; Employ-
ment creation and maintenance;
Protecting the balance of pay-
ment; Protection of the Econ-
omy and creation of a climate
of sustainable investment, con-
tinued development and social
change; Maintaining economic
competitiveness; Promoting
economic resilience, social sta-
bility and social security; Pro-
moting household survival and
sustainable livelihoods through
appropriate social policies and
programmes
These areas of focus and the re-
lated interventions must include
a people-centred planning ap-
proaches in the face of these eco-
nomic challenges. Therefore, our
targeted policies and strategic in-
terventions, as well as the incen-
tives regimes we pursue, must be
supported by firm performance
criteria, as conditionalties for ac-
cessing these incentives.
We recognize that the pub-
lic sector cannot act alone. We
must establish strategic partner-
ships with our, private and other
non-state actors and civil society
groupings in charting a sustain-
able social and economic devel-
opment programme, with clearly
articulated objectives which
involve converting strategic vi-
sion into specific performance
outcomes relating to national
growth, development and social
change. Our policies and pro-
grammes must therefore be clear-
ly targeted to ensure efficient and
effective use of resources.
Central to this thrust is recog-
nition of the importance of moni-
toring and evaluating perfor-
mance and initiating corrective
adjustments in vision, long term
direction, objectives, strategy
and implementation activities, in
light of actual experience, chang-
ing conditions, new ideas and
new opportunities.
The Government therefore,
recognizes that there is a need
to periodically re-examine or re-
visit its social policies and pro-
gramme intervention initiatives,
to determine their impacts, level
of efficiency and effectiveness


and to inform policy makers of
any need for the re-formulation
of such policies that might be re-
quired in furtherance of social
development and social change.
This is the main reason for this
symposium
We recognized that the private
and non-state sectors such as our
NGOs and CBOs are engaged in
a commendable charitable effort
aimed at social improvements in
the lives and livelihoods of many
St Lucian households with their
own limited resources. Yet their
activities are largely not informed
by existing national development
policy direction and they often
do not get the support they need
from central government in pur-
suit of their social development
activities.
We wish to acknowledge their
effort and to work with them in
finding new opportunities for
collaborative actions ,that will
strengthen their efforts, increase
resources availability and sus-
tain any new partnership rela-
tionships that may be forged
through consultation and dia-
logue such as this Symposium
has the potential of develop-
ing. We see this commitment to
partnerships as significant and
one based on our ethical per-
suasions and the principles of
participatory democracy and
governance to which we sub-
scribe to as a nation. We want
to encourage a deepening of the
cooperation between the gov-
ernment and the social devel-
opment partners of the private
and civil society groups, in the
planning and implementation
processes. This engagement
will serve to realize the criti-
cal objectives of fostering and
promoting a people-centered
approach to development and
social change that we as a gov-
ernment subscribe to.
Ladies and gentlemen having
contextualize the present climate
within which we have to commit
to social investment it is impera-
tive that we act prudently and
rationalize the allocation and
use of available resources in our
planning and development strat-
egies to facilitate the realization
of the desired outcomes for social
development of our people. This
speaks to the need for identifying
an institutional framework for
integrated, multi-sectoral social
development policy and plan-
ning process which I hope will
be one of the outcomes from this
symposium.
I thank you for your commit-
ment to participate in this part-
nership exercise and I have no
doubt that your deliberations
over the next three days will re-
dound to the benefit of the peo-
ple of St Lucia. I wish a successful
outcome to this symposium


Page 7







NATIONAL REVIEW


Saturday January 16, 2010


Address by Minister of Ministry of Social Transformation,


Youth & Sports At SOCIAL POLICY SYMPOSIUM

November 16, 2009


Our social development and poverty eradication
agendas have emphasized three strategic objectives
which include: (1) The empowerment of people and
communities and the promotion of social integration,
individual self esteem and cultural identity; (2) The
provision of sustainable economic opportunities
and (3) The promotion of universal access to
infrastructure and services


Minister Montoute delivering his address


Hon. Leonard Montoute
Minister for Social
Transformation, Youth and Sports
The Ministry of Social Trans-
formation is delighted to
partner with the Office of
the Prime Minister and the Minis-
try of Finance, Economic Affairs &
National Development in hosting
this very important symposium.
Over the past few months, my
Ministry has been able to con-
tinue to fulfill its mandate of di-
rectly impacting on people's lives
through a myriad of interventions
and sustainable social develop-
ment programmes. Our social
development and poverty eradi-
cation agendas have emphasized
three strategic objectives which
include: (1) The empowerment of
people and communities and the


promotion of social integration,
individual self esteem and cul-
tural identity; (2) The provision
of sustainable economic oppor-
tunities and (3) The promotion of
universal access to infrastructure
and services.
They objectives are far reaching
and consistent with the strategic
priorities articulated by my Gov-
ernment, particularly in respect
of poverty reduction; investing
in human resource development
and the provision of quality com-
munity services and infrastruc-
tural development.
The question must be asked:
what kind of future do we wish
to bequeath to our children? How
might we act today to ensure a
promising future?
At least part of the answer lies
in our prudent and sustainable
use of existing resources and a
social domain characterized by
the absence of fear, poverty and
deprivation. We seek the eventu-
al emergence of a St. Lucian So-
ciety built on equity, fairness and
social wellbeing which future
generations would fully enjoy.
The Government of St Lucia
is resolute in its determination
to improve the quality of life for
all St. Lucians. With this commit-
ment comes the solemn responsi-
bility to provide adequate social
protection to the more vulnerable
groups among us, and to work
assiduously towards the creation
of a more just, more equitable
and more inclusive society.
Continued on page 9


Participants at opening ceremony


Page 8







Saturday January 16, 2010


NATIONAL REVIEW


Dr Marlyn Morris-Development Policy Advisor and Chairperson
of the Opening Ceremony


Continued from page 8
Many of the issues earmarked
for discussion at this Symposium
are influenced by or intertwined
with the global realities we face on
a daily basis as a nation. We are all
too familiar with the plight of the
banana industry and the impact
of players who are able to dwarf
our feeble attempts at reasonable
participation in fair trade.
Saint Lucia has made signifi-
cant investments in human and
social development. As a result,
the overall Human Development
Index for Saint Lucia was .728 in
the Human Development Report
of 2000. The 2007 report placed
the country in 69th position from
among 189 UN member coun-
tries. This represents an improve-
ment from 2000 when we were
placed in 88th position among
174 countries.
Saint Lucia is among the coun-
tries with medium human devel-
opment status, as are most of the
independent Caribbean nations,
except Barbados and the Baha-
mas on the one hand; ranked as
30th and 33rd, and Haiti ranked
149 at the other extreme.
Encouraging as this may seem,
as a Small Island Developing
state, we still have a considerable
way to go.
As a Ministry, we note that un-
employment is still unacceptably
high among the youth and sev-
eral complain of not being able to
get jobs and even if they do man-
age to get a job, the pay is so low
that it is insufficient to meet one's
day to day needs. Several of these
young people hold the view that
the education system does not
adequately prepare them for the
demands of the job market.
Persons with disabilities are
another group at risk in the soci-
ety, and are likely to be poorer in
an environment that often fails to
recognize their capabilities, and
to provide them with the oppor-
tunity to achieve their full poten-
tial. There is much that needs to
be done, by the Government as a
matter of social policy regarding
this vulnerable group. Neverthe-
less, there remains in the general
population, a lack of apprecia-
tion, of the needs and challenges


Prime Minister, Hon. Stephenson King delivering the keynote address


Mr Ezra Jn Baptiste, Symposium Facilitator


of the ten percent or so of our citi-
zens who suffer from significant
disabilities.
Increasingly, we are witness-
ing a proliferation of socially dis-
placed persons; some of whom
have taken up residence on the
streets and sidewalks of Castries
and Soufriere. This disturbing
phenomenon must be brought
under control, and as a policy
measure, the Government of
Saint Lucia is seeking to develop
programmes to help reintegrate
those unfortunate citizens into
mainstream society.
Our attitudes towards older
persons leave much to be de-
sired. Ageing is a natural pro-
cess which every human being
will ultimately experience. As a
society we need to recognize the
contribution of our older citizens;
for having set the foundation on
which we now build.
Saint Lucia has experienced
the travails of adjustment of two
of its export sectors. This has
created hardship and social de-
privation for a population and
for a country that has had lim-
ited experience in dealing trade
adjustment.
Given the scale of the changes
that have been necessary in the
banana industry, elimination of


marginal producers has created
major social dislocation, initially
in rural communities, and with
the flight to Castries and envi-
rons, and eventually excessive
concentration and overcrowding,
crime, and other forms of social
decay.
Saint Lucia boasts a wide range
of safety net programs, which
if adequately reconfigured and
made more efficient could ad-
dress critical risks faced by these
segments of the population which
are most poor and vulnerable.
Governments often overlook
the capacity of civil society as an
instrument of social wellbeing or
even the creation of wealth. As a
nation we recognize the power
of these institutions that play
such a pivotal role in national
development by promoting so-
cial cohesion and building social
capital.
In light of the foregoing, the ef-
fective coordination of social pol-
icy should be seen as a national
development imperative of high-
est priority.
Social policies are not an end in
themselves but a means of forg-
ing a balanced society and pro-
moting the national good.
Social development institu-


Participants in working group sessions


tions within the public service
must work in tandem to achieve
the synergies we so often crave.
Civil Society Organizations are
encouraged to come on board so
as to ensure the achievement of
holistic social development and
ensuring the optimal reach of
existing social safety nets to help
protect our numerous vulnerable
groups.
My Ministry is therefore ac-
tively seeking to foster partner-


ships with the NGO Community
through more active engage-
ment in Community Develop-
ment and social Transformative
processes.
In closing, I wish you pleasant
and fruitful deliberations during
this Symposium and may we con-
tinue to reinforce the partnership
that will enable the collective ef-
fort to fight the still lingering
scourges of marginalization, pov-
erty and hunger in our country


Page 9








NATIONAL REVIEW


Saturday January 16, 2010


Toward a Fresh Approach to National Social


Development Policy and Planning Process


The Government of Saint
Lucia is committed to sub-
stantially improving the
quality of life of Saint Lucians
and promoting sustainable de-
velopment within an enabling
policy environment character-
ized by peace and prosperity.
This commitment is embodied
within a new National Visioning
Exercise that aims to coordinate
and harmonize the key interven-
tions of all social development
institutions from the public and
private sectors, civil society orga-
nizations and community- based
organizations.
This goal is, however, unlikely
to be achieved in the absence of a
comprehensive social policy that
complements, guides and sup-
ports all domains of national de-
velopment.
The current culture of social
policy formulation appears large-
ly based on gut feelings, hunches
and initiatives developed with-
out a methodical basis. What is
needed is evidence-based policy
formulation and a modem de-
cision making culture within
which social policy is framed and
developed based on empirical
evidence pertaining to the par-
ticular environment.
Consistent with the over-arch-
ing themes of integration and
collaboration, the National Social
Policy and Programming Sym-
posium initiated as a collabora-
tive venture involving the Min-
istry of Social Transformation,
Youth & Sports, the Office of the
Prime Minister and the Ministry
of Economic Planning and Na-
tional Development. The Sym-
posium was designed to bring
into sharper focus, contemporary
social development issues and
explore the policies and strategic
interventions that could provide
the most effective way to develop
the social sector on a sustainable
basis.
It is recognized that a co-
ordinated social development
approach is imperative at this
juncture of our development and
demands a social policy frame-
work that is both relevant and
appropriate in order to address
several current and emerging
critical human and social devel-
opment issues and concerns that
characterize the Saint Lucian so-
ciety today.
Furthermore, this approach
underpins integrated develop-
ment planning which seeks to
align sectoral planning with na-
tional development planning and
the convergence of social and
economic planning.


The Government of Saint Lucia
fully appreciates the intrinsic val-
ue of a people-centred, multi-sec-
toral and collaborative approach
to national development.
The phenomenon of poverty,
is considered both as a symp-
tom and as a cause of a myriad
of social problems, which af-
fect many individuals, house-
holds, and communities in Saint
Lucia. Indeed poverty is at the
centre of human development
issues facing the society at this
time. Consequently, the need for
comprehensive Social Policy is
heightened due to the extent and
severity of social issues that affect
people and society today.
It is envisaged therefore, that
the further development and im-
plementation of social policy will
result in the further enhancement
of the welfare and wellbeing of all
individuals, families, groups and
communities in the society, giv-
ing special consideration to those
among us who are poor, vulner-
able and disadvantaged.
The Government of Saint Lu-
cia envisages that this keystone
initiative will facilitate the de-
velopment of a collaborative,
integrative and multi-sectoral
framework which will serve as a
platform to continuously engage
all social development partners
from the public, private and Civil
Society Organizations.
Such an approach is even
more critical now as it is becom-
ing increasingly apparent that
evidence-based policy formula-
tion is a critical success factor for
promoting and guiding strategic
interventions for national social
development in a scientific and
sustainable manner.


In keeping with this philoso-
phy, the Symposium is expected
to provide an avenue for social
development partners to work
together towards identifying
a sustainable framework for
streamlining, rationalizing and
harmonizing institutional re-
sponses to social development.
The Integrated Development
Planning Approach provides
both the platform and the centre-
piece for the symposium insofar


as it promotes good governance
through multi-level consulta-
tion and consensus building in
a manner that is inclusive and
participatory. The approach pre-
scribes strategic management of
social processes in an organized,
inclusive and systematic manner
and policy development through
dialogue, cross-sector planning,
information exchange and re-
search
Part of the Social Development


framework will be the formal
adoption of the Millennium De-
velopment Goals as a benchmark
for achievement of social devel-
opment targets. Despite being
a signatory to the Millennium
Declaration, St Lucia has not
been able to purposefully pursue
achievement of the Goals their
associated targets and indicators.
Adoption and pursuit of the re-
spective targets will provide yet
another premise for inter-sectoral
collaboration as we join the inter-
national community by seeking
consensus to meet all MDG goals
and targets by 2015.
Among the key objectives of
the symposium are: examination
and enhancement of the prudent
use of resources; review the pol-
icy-making and implementation
processes; rationalization of ex-
isting programmes for improved
and effective delivery of service;
development of an institutional
policy and planning framework
for building social resilience and
sustainable livelihoods; and ar-
ticulation of a roadmap for ad-
dressing key social development
issues.
Private sector and civil society
institutions are also encouraged
to adopt this inclusive frame-
work which offers more effective
outcomes for their programme
interventions.


Participants in working group sessions


Page 10


Mr Donovan Williams, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Transformation addressing
participants at Opening Ceremony


f A






Saturday December 19, 2009


NATIONAL REVIEW


375 Nationals Benefit From The SSDF


Christmas Stimulus Package


or the third consecutive
year, the Government of
Saint Lucia through the
Ministry of Social Transforma-
tion and the administration of
the Saint Lucia Social Develop-
ment Fund (SSDF) made Christ-
mas a little happier for some
needy families on the island.
Through what was called
the Christmas Stimulus Pack-
age, the SSDF provided tem-
porary employment for hun-
dreds of nationals so that they


could have money for the festive
season.
The SSDF explained that the
objective of the package was to ul-
timately inject money into the is-
land's economy by providing em-
ployment for some 375 people.
The beneficiaries of the pro-
gramme were selected from four
constituencies, namely Dennery
North, Gros Islet, Micoud South
and Dennery South and they
were employed to undertake
short term projects such as the


construction of footpaths, clear-
ing up of grass and debris and
general beautification in their re-
spective communities.
By the SSDF's account (See
table below) the beneficiaries
were each awarded a total of
EC$1,500.00.
Scott Evans of the SSDF said
the just concluded stimulus pro-
gramme was most gratifying as
it allowed many Saint Lucians
to have a most enjoyable season.
"The response was great and one


must never underestimate what
an injection of cash can do. The
figures might have seemed small,
but the money went a long way
towards making it a better ex-
perience for many Saint Lucians
this past Christmas."
The Saint Lucia Social Develop-
ment Fund is funded by soft loans
and grants from regional and in-
ternational funding agencies.
The SSDF is funded by four
main organizations / institutions:
(1) The Caribbean Development


Bank (CDB) through its con-
tinuing BNTF programme; (2)
The European Union (EU); (3)
The Government of Saint Lu-
cia and (4) The Canadian Inter-
national Development Agency
(CIDA), through the CDB.
The SSDF is committed to
its mandate to reduce pov-
erty through financial and
moral support in education,
health and socio-economic
programmes designed to im-
prove the lot of indigent and
poor people in Saint Lucia.


Saint Lucia Social Development Fund


Christmas Stimulus Package

Expenditure Statement


Project / Constituency # of Beneficiaries Amount ($)


Gros Islet


Micoud South


Dennery North


Dennery South


89,690.00


76,304.00


162,740.00


89,888.00


50,000.00


263


Administration Fee


Total Expensed


Total Received


468,622.00


(500,000.00)


Surplus /Deficit


Total Beneficiaries


(31,378.00)


375


Average Income Per Person


Page 11


1200








NATIONAL REVIEW


Saturday January 16, 2010


The Bananaquit


Young Saint Lucians in
particular will soon be
educated about the many
birds that inhabit the forests and
flora around the island.
The government of Saint Lu-
cia in collaboration with the
Embassy of the Republic of
China (Taiwan) earlier this week
launched a book and two DVDs
on birds prevalent to the island.


The Green Throated Carib

The teaching material is aimed
particularly at schools in Saint
Lucia and in other Caribbean
islands.
Unique to Saint Lucia's nation-
al identity is some of its wildlife
and in particular its birds.
About 74 species of birds
are resident on the island six of
which are endemic or unique


The Royal Tern


only to this island. In addition,
twenty-four of the 58 species of
birds found in the Caribbean are
also found on St Lucia.
Some species have gained no-
tice on postage stamps and in
books and the Saint Lucia Parrot
has become the national bird.
All of these birds will be featured
in the recently released book.


The Saint Lucia Oriole

The Bird Book of Saint Lucia
for Caribbean Schools is expect-
ed to help sensitize and educate
the children of Saint Lucia to
appreciate the environment in
which they live and to respect
nature.
It will also enable future gen-
erations to take pleasure in rec-
ognizing and being able to name


The Saint Lucia Warbler


the birds that make up their en-
vironment.
The Bird Book of Saint Lucia
for Caribbean Schools was initi-
ated by Mr. Denys Springer, who
is currently Director of Infor-
mation Services and it is hoped
that it will raise a consciousness
among Saint Lucians to preserve
and appreciate its wildlife more.


Author Denys Springer shares a light moment with Prime Minister
Stephenson King and Minister of the Environment, Richard Frederick


The author receives congratulations from the Prime Minister while Ambassador
to Taiwan Tom Chou looks on


STout Sent Lisyen Se Yonn
Office of the Prime Minister, 5th Floor, Greaham Louisy Administrative Building, Waterfront, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: 1 758 46.- 2111 Fa\: 1 7?S 453-7352


Page 12


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