Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew provided a comprehensive update on the payments made under the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP).
Speaking during a special interview with members of the media today, Thursday, March 02, 2023, Prime Minister Dr. Drew stated that as the programme continues to be evaluated, payments have been made to close to five thousand (5,000) beneficiaries in different categories.
“We have paid about 5,000 persons in St. Kitts and Nevis. We have 346 of the unemployed, 277 of the disabled, 1,898 of the elderly and 2,173 low-income employees and this will continue to be evaluated,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew.
The honourable Prime Minister said the PAP programme is important as it seeks to lower the poverty rate in the Federation by providing families and households below the poverty line proper access to food, financial assistance and other necessities.
“However, we promised that we would transform the PAP, as we said we would MEND the PAP, and we are now collecting the data, carrying out the feasibility studies and the evaluation to determine what that new programme would look like. What I can say to the citizens is that we promised that we would put a programme in place really to alleviate poverty, which means persons might need more resources or some might need fewer resources, but it will be a comprehensive approach as to how to deal with poverty in St. Kitts and Nevis. We want to rid our country of poverty,” Dr. Drew explained.
The Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew further explained that it was necessary and important to re-evaluate the programme.
He said, “There are persons who might change their status—they might be unemployed today and working tomorrow, and so that changed their status in life so you might make the adjustments. God forbids you might have somebody who died who is on the programme, you need to re-evaluate the programme to determine these kinds of significant things.”
“The Social Security asks for an evaluation periodically which is normal to do. It does not mean that if you are qualified to be on the programme that you will be removed from the programme but any prudent programme would of course need period evaluation to determine if those who are on the programme should be on the programme still because they might have changed their status, or you might have persons who may not have been on the programme who now will qualify to be on the programme, and without such re-evaluation, the dynamics of the programme will not be addressed,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew added.
The Poverty Alleviation Programme provides a monthly stipend of $500 per month to households earning less than $3,000 per month.