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Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
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The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is yet to complete the latest poverty assessment, the result of which should have been published in March this year. 

MP for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings asked Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves for an update on the assessment during last month’s meeting of parliament.

Cummings, an opposition lawmaker, said that the country poverty assessment was launched with much fanfare in in February 2018.

He said that the International Monetary Fund’s latest report put unemployment among youths in SVG at about 46%.

Cummings asked Gonsalves to explain why the country Poverty Assessment Report which should have been published in March 2019, as promised by the government, was still not published or revealed, how much was spent in undertaking the assessment, and when could the people of SVG expect the report to be made public. 

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In response, Gonsalves said the overall objective of the poverty assessment is to update living conditions statistics and to recommend policies, strategies, action plans and projects that will reduce the extent and severity of poverty. 

He said that SVG has not had a poverty assessment since after the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

In July 2017, Cabinet granted approval for the national assessment team to be reactivated to provide supervision for the implementation of the poverty assessment.

It is comprised of 15 members from 13 government and non-governmental organisations, the finance minister said.  

Gonsalves said that SVG has secured financing through the World Bank Human Development Service Delivery Project for the country poverty assessment. 

In addition, the Caribbean Development Bank, through the OECS commission committed to providing technical assistance and guidance throughout the process. 

The overall cost is estimated to be US$800,000 and to date about US$300,000 has been spent.  

The survey of living conditions, household budget survey component provides quantitative data on poverty and vulnerability.  

In addition to computing the poverty threshold and providing the monetary measures of poverty and vulnerability, this particular component will use multidimensional poverty measurement to update social indicators and provide baseline statistics for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SDG 1 and 2 – zero hunger and zero poverty among others, Gonsalves told Parliament.

He said that processing for this component began early in 2019 shortly after compilation of the fieldwork phase.

Analysts are in the process of producing the preliminary estimates of monetary and multidimensional poverty for that component. 

The finance minister said that participatory poverty assessment component attempts to understand poverty through the eyes of the poor, it involves one-on-one and group discussions with persons in selected communities. 

“With this assessment, poor citizens can relay their own experiences and tell their own stories. Among the groups accessed were the elderly and the disabled.” 

Data was collected within eight communities across St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Ashton, Union Island; Bottle and Glass, Barrouallie; Calliaqua; Orange Hill; Redemption Sharpes; Sandy Bay; South Rivers; and Spring Village.  

The fieldwork for that component is incomplete.

The macro socio-economic assessment provides an understanding of the institutions and services that are critical to improving living conditions and reducing vulnerability to poverty and provides information on how the global economy has influenced poverty in SVG, Gonsalves said.  

The institutional component of this, which is the part that deals with the institutions and services that are critical to improving living conditions in SVG, that survey is complete. 

The draft report is being prepared. 

The data collection and the work to strengthen the other component, namely the macro socio-economic assessment is being prepared.

The component on poverty and vulnerability mapping combines information gathered in the other four components and generates maps that show the different factors affecting poverty and vulnerability in SVG.

The map can used to decide interventions by demonstrating geographic variations and areas that are lagging in development that might be targeted for specific action. 

The overall status, data collection and data processing are not complete in all sections and there are one or two outstanding communities for the participatory poverty assessment, Gonsalves said.

He said the analysis and production of a full analytical report as well as the processing of all components are expected to be completed within the next three months since there is some fieldwork still to be done on the participatory poverty assessment, it is likely that work on this component will extend beyond the next quarter.

7 replies on “SVG’s poverty report almost 2 years behind schedule”

  1. I read above that “the International Monetary Fund’s latest report put unemployment among youths in SVG at about 46%.” But everyone here knows that the true rate is sure much, much higher than that.

    Unless the youth here secure a government job or go self employed by selling fruit and veg or some imported rubbish under the many street arches here or sell on a street corner, gainful work here is just near on impossible, because no new companies are being formed while the Gonsalves hold power.

    Moreover, I just had to laugh out loudly when I read the following from the mouth piece of the Gonsalves family regime’s online blog, written under the heading of; “St. Vincent Police Force Receives Donation From Taiwan!” It read; “Mr. Chris C. Tseng of the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan handed over the pieces of equipment to Commissioner of Police, Mr. Colin John at the Police Conference Room on Thursday November 28, 2019.” And

    “The Special Branch Department within the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) is more equipped to perform its duties and responsibilities in helping to safeguard the citizens and visitors to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The department has received an injection of equipment valued USD $2500 (XCD$6,750.00) to boost its efficiency and overall effectiveness.”

    What a joke! The price of a single day’s vacation! Are we really a country? Are Vincentians truly serious about genuine emancipation? Are Vincentians interested in development? Why then do we allow this bunch of family jokers to lead us a merry dance?

  2. What a load of crappo shit! Once more, secure funds to spend on we don’t know what. 46 % of the people of working age have no jobs. While this very important debate sets on. Preceded over by Mr. Yugge.
    Who is going to secure funds to stimulate the economy and take care of the 46 %? Not you. I hope this US$ 800.000 assessment shows you how to do that. Of course, that will be after you and your people had your fill.
    We want to know who funding ULP political campaigns? Where do you fund? Tell the people the truth and don’t hide behind empty marijuana smoke. @##!**!`~~ with your downhill-dynasty! Selling off our birth-right for peanuts and then the country. Just to stay in power. You can’t fool all the people all the time.

  3. This is what we want to see from the opposition. The exposure of the corruption and incompetence of the government.
    I think Camillio got it wrong when he said something about the NDP being incompetent. This along with the mention of the Freedom Of Information law, not to mention our poor medical system, our poor roads, massive debt and half the country having no job, actually shows us how INCOMPETENT this government is.

    The facts speak for themself! Camillio makes himself look stupid as he tries to brag like his […] father. If people realize that Camillio has never earned anything on his own, that his daddy has arranged everything for him, he has even less bragging rights.

  4. We have seen them come and have seen the go in their smartly dressed suits and large Briefcases. We know that they don’t live or belong and neither do they stay long. The reason is not obvious to us but wink, wink and nod, nod; Diplomats for Sale.

    What should we believe from these characters? Words, words, Words, when and where riches flows!

  5. What ever happened to those BBC reporters on that LIAT aircraft? What ever became of that threat to prosecute? The Millennium Bank went out after coming in but who knew what was going on and who drank all those bottles of expensive wines? Not the poor!

    Who knew what and when this “Millionaire couple made bankrupt amid £390m property fraud” was rampaging through SVG and exploiting Vincentians and others abroad? The poor here sure got ripped off and awaiting their wages!

    And what do we really know about, yes Peter’s Hope? Who was laughing all the way to the Bank after that land deal? Well then who is the profoundest cause of our nation’s poverty when so many here out of work?

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