For the second time, the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, under the ministerial leadership of Hon. Joachim Henry, has presented its full slate of plans and programs for the upcoming fiscal year (2023/24).
The annual presentation, which forms part of the budgetary process, was well received by the finance team headed by the Minister for Finance and Prime Minister Hon. Phillip J. Pierre.
Ministry of Equity officials not only presented their vision for the 2023/24 fiscal year that includes many new and exciting social protection initiatives, but seized the opportunity to update the team on achievements of the past financial year 2022/23.
According to Permanent Secretary Velda Joseph, “We recognized that we have done tremendous work in terms of the enabling environment for social protection, in that we have done a lot as it relates to the development of policies and plans as we work on the social protection legislation and so we think we have really enhanced the policy and legislative framework for social protection here on Saint Lucia.”
For the ensuing 2023/24 financial year, the Ministry of Equity intends to place emphasis on strengthening its many social interventions scattered across the length and breadth of the island, that significantly touch the lives of thousands of citizens.
Existing programs will be beefed up whilst new ones have been designed to address prevailing social issues like crime and violence, youth at risk, as well as unemployment.
Focus will also be placed on community resilience through empowerment of residents, with a special focus on children.
Already, the Ministry has begun planning for a major observance of this year’s World Children’s Day on November 20.
“The idea of focusing on children is to do so as part of the Ministry’s comprehensive Anti-Crime campaign, but also the focus is aimed at critically helping to equip our children, this generation, with greater leadership skills as we help them to take lead roles in their schools and community as we seek to usher in a new set of leaders,” notes Minister Henry.
Some of the new social interventions include the establishment of a Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre, a Prisoner Re-integration Project and an initiative focusing on Safety Nets for Vulnerable Populations affected by the Coronavirus.
SOURCE: Ministry for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment