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Social Transformation Ministry begins work on new policy

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 – Work is continuing full speed ahead on the drafting of a comprehensive policy to guide government and its stakeholders in ensuring the development of a mindset and culture of independence and self-reliance among Saint Lucians.

Over the next six months, the Ministry of Social Transformation, which is overseeing the process, is hoping to present a Green Paper to the Cabinet of Ministers for consideration on the adoption of the policy. “The Government of Saint Lucia is committed to a society in which the pursuit of justice, equality, economic stability, efficiency and resource management are seen as development imperatives,” said Fortuna Belrose, who serves as Assistant Director of Community Services and Local Government in the Ministry of Social Transformation.

She indicated that, “these objectives cannot be realized without building the country’s human and social capital – ie, social cohesion, social integration and social stability.” Belrose noted that a consultant in the person of Yves Renard has been contracted to spearhead the development of the policy. A technical team comprising personnel from across the public service involved in social work, tourism and agriculture has also been put in place to help draft the document.

Said Belrose, “for one thing in Saint Lucia there is no shortage of date as there is a lot of material available and as a result we are going through it to extract what is relevant in this case. The next issues is that within the Ministry itself we have oversight of the social funds namely the STEP Programme, the Poverty Reduction Fund, the BelFund, the National Conservation Authority, etc, they are all part of us and we have been able to bring them on board with us in terms of social development.”

It is the Ministry’s view that social investment will guarantee that every citizen will have access to a basic standard of living, accessibility to critical services and an environment that provides to opportunity to learn and develop ones potential. With these basic facilities, it is expected that citizens will be creative, innovative, confident and better prepared to take on the challenges of contributing to the fulfilment of their needs.

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