Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday boasted about her Government’s babycare grant initiative at the 69th session of the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) meeting yesterday. She raised the $500 grant, which was criticised by many for continuing a cycle of dependency within society, as she spoke about programmes targeting women, especially single mothers, the provision of social safety nets for the poor and education as the key areas the People’s Partnership had addressed.
She was speaking at a special sitting of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) here at the United Nations’ headquarters, Manhattan. In giving an overview of the People’s Partnership Government’s implementation of its own programme of ICPD-driven action, the PM said education, employment, health and the provision of several social safety nets for the poor, through the Ministry of the People and Social Development, had been focused on the benefit of citizens.
The PM said: “It should be noted that a significant portion of the budgetary resources allocated for the upcoming financial year has been dedicated to education, as well as programmes which target women, especially single mothers. “Once more, education has received the lion’s share of the national budget as we seek to make our education system millennium development goal plus, which would result in Trinidad and Tobago achieving universal early childhood education by 2015.”
She added that as PM she had recently redesigned certain programmes in the ministry with responsibility for youth affairs, with a view to ensure young people, especially the vulnerable, benefited through avenues in the education system, as well as from skills and entrepreneurial training, mentoring and youth health programmes.
In addressing issues of the poor, Persad-Bissessar said her Government had introduced a new programme which would provide financial assistance for one year for any child born to underprivileged parents. While T&T has achieved a number of successes by implementing a programme of action of the ICPD, Persad-Bissessar said she was “quite aware” there remained certain challenges.
However, she ensured her Government was committed to providing equality and equity in an environment which would harness the talents of current and future generations. …READ MORE