Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister responsible for Social Development on Nevis.

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is embracing the Poverty Alleviation Programme, a Federal government initiative which will provide assistance valued at $500 monthly for qualifying households earning $3,000 or less per month.

Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister responsible for Social Development on Nevis said on Aug. 23, that the ministry is pleased with the Federal government’s decision to expand the new initiative to Nevis.

“Here on Nevis we have been asked on numerous occasions whether or not the programme will be extended to us,” the minister said. “Well, we are happy to say that it is indeed extended to Nevis and the Nevis Island Administration, we are happy to be a part of the initiative. We are happy to be a part of anything that will assist our more vulnerable persons in our society.”

Evelyn stated that the registration process which commences on Aug. 27, be spearheaded by the ministry. Those who carry out the registration process will be assisted by persons from the Statistics Department.

The minister gave some information about the programme and used the opportunity to encourage those applying to be honest.

“I want to urge members of the general public to be as truthful as possible in the registration process,” Evelyn said. “Of course, there will be a lot of instances where the information will be back checked and so we want people to be truthful…

“After the registration process is completed, the information has to be verified and collated, so the actual assistance programme will not start immediately. We want you to be as patient as possible. We also want to let you know that the assistance will not be in the form of cash but assistance will be provided after once you qualify for it,” he said.

Addressing the confidentiality issue, Evelyn assured the public that all information they provide during the registration process would remain confidential.

“All of the officers who will be a part of the process in terms of the registration will be taking an oath that will be administered by someone from the High Court.

“We assure you that information will be kept strictly confidential and so there is absolutely no need for you to worry about the information that you will be providing to the enumerators,” he said.

On Aug. 23, a four-member team from the Federal government headed by Andrew Skerrit, Permanent Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, was in Nevis to conduct a training session with officers executing the registration process and to brief the NIA Cabinet on the procedures for the data collection process and the overall programme.

Other members of the team were Mrs. Beverly Harris, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development; Mrs. Gaile Phillips, Director of Statistics; and Corneal Williams, Social Statistician.