JIS News

Government expenditure of over $42 billion has been credited for the over 50% decline in poverty since 1992. Dr. Jaslin Salmon, National Coordinator for the Poverty Eradication Programme in the Office of the Prime Minister made the disclosure a panel discussion entitled “Fighting Poverty, the Past and the Future” which was hosted by the Cabinet Office this morning (Thursday, November 10) at Jamaica House. The poverty level for 2004 stood at 16.9% compared with 35.2% in 1992 Dr. Salmon said quoting from the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions Report.
Dr. Salmon said that the phenomenal growth in the informal economy, the impact of activities in the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NPEP) and Government policy contributed to the significant decline. According to Dr. Salmon, Ministry Paper 13, 1997 represented the most comprehensive and progressive approach to social development in the history of the country. He said that the Government’s poverty eradication programme was based on four guiding principles including integration of agencies and projects, partnerships, community-based participation and sustainability through environmental protection and ownership by the community.
Between 1995 and 2000 Government spent over $15 billion on poverty alleviation programmes, a period which saw the most dramatic decline the country’s poverty level. Meanwhile $6 billion has been earmarked for this financial year making it the single largest allocation for poverty allocation in any given year.
The Hon. Burchell Whiteman, Minister of Information, launched the series of monthly panel discussions. Other discussants included Mr. Robert Buddan, Lecturer in the Department of Government University of the West Indies and Dr. Wesley Hughes, Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica.
The gathering was also addressed by Dr. Carlton Davis, Cabinet Secretary who expressed the view that poverty was also about people’s personal values.