Charlestown-Nevis– Monday 24th December was a historic day in the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, as the poverty alleviation package, promised by the Team Unity Government, was officially launched.
The program was launched simultaneously in both St. Kitts and Nevis.
In Nevis, the launch was effected at the Memorial square, situated in the heart of Charlestown.
The proceedings were ably chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow who in delivering remarks, noted that over 800 persons on Nevis registered for the special program and over 500 of those persons, initially qualified and would be receiving their cheques today.
He told those who had not yet qualified, not to despair as the verification process continues and maybe they may still be able to qualify.
He also outlined the process: Persons were asked to check at the Department of Community Development to ascertain whether or not they qualified and then report to the Ministry of Finance conference room in order to collect their cheques, once they would have ascertained that they qualified.
Also addressing the gathering was the Minister of Community Development, Hon. Eric Evelyn, who pointed out that the St. Kitts- Nevis Government is leading in quite a number of areas, throughout the region, including the new poverty alleviation package and opined that it was timely that the package was being delivered on the verge of Christmas eve, in this the season of giving.
He asked the beneficiaries of the program to spend the money wisely.
Senior Minister Hon. Vance Amory, also addressed the gathering and made it a point of duty to explain that even though the cheques were being delivered at Christmas time, it is indeed a continuous monthly package, as long as there is a need.
He also asked them kindly to use the money wisely for essentials such as food, clothing, paying of bills etc and not for such things as new hair styles.
Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley officially launched the program and in so doing explained that it was not just a political gimmick. ‘It was a promise made and a promise kept by the Team Unity Government.’
He noted that some persons felt that it was not possible but stated that the persons receiving their cheques would realize that it was indeed a reality.
He referred to the program as a ‘hands up’ as it is intended to help persons who are currently in need but they also must realize that they should be making an effort to get out of their present situation and once such is achieved, then the program can concentrate on some other persons in need.
Also present at the launch, were Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Hon. Spencer Brand; Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Stedmond Tross and many of the persons who qualified for the cheques.
Minister Evelyn also stated that one lady expressed her delight with the package by stating: ‘This is the best Christmas gift I have received!”