The Poverty Alleviation Programme, which is a promise kept by the Team Unity Government, was implemented in three phases. The programme started with a data collection drive followed by an investigative and assessment stage during which the data collected was verified to determine whether individuals who applied for the assistance were genuinely eligible. The last phase -the commencement of payments to qualifying households- starts next month.
In a National Address on August 02, 2018, Prime Minister Harris noted that this programme was initiated to improve the poverty situation in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We inherited a situation where too many people were among the working poor, unable to pay their electricity bills, and to keep up with the 600 percent increase in water charges imposed by the bygone Labour administration,” Dr. Harris said, while noting that, “If they were to give an honest assessment of the poverty situation in St. Kitts and Nevis, the detractors would have to acknowledge that something should have been done to improve the lot of thousands of people in the Federation.”
Prime Minister Harris referenced the findings of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)-funded Country Poverty Assessment in 2008, which provided a quantitative and qualitative analysis of living conditions in the Federation.
That assessment revealed a national poverty rate of 21.8 percent of individuals across St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Poverty Alleviation Programme is a solution to ensuring that the rate of poverty is decreased if not eradicated.
This programme marks another successful venture of the Government of National Unity since taking office in 2015.