CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – Members of the public are being asked to be patient when making requests to the Department of Social Services by Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
The NIA’s Ministry of Social Development provides support services for persons in crises due to personal or natural disasters, to assist them to return to self-sufficiency. They also provide welfare assistance to economically disadvantaged persons in the community.
During his presentation at a town hall meeting hosted by the NIA at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall on August 13, Hon. Evelyn explained the department has been receiving an increased number of requests for assistance since the onset of COVID-19 in the Federation. As a result, there has been a delay in the regular processing time for requests.
“There are a lot of persons who have been laid off and still without a job,” explained the minister. “Many persons are still going through some hard times. We continue to be overwhelmed at the Social Services Department, and we continue to respond positively.
“I want to caution the persons who continue to call to request things that there is normally a process in terms of honouring those requests, and we are asking you to have patience. If you make a call to the office tomorrow and do not get a response the same day, the call will be answered, but your request has to be processed. The department will continue to work with you the best possible way that we can.”
The minister noted that in recent months, most of the requests have been for food vouchers and food packages, as persons continue to experience financial difficulties due to COVID-19.
Mr. Evelyn expressed satisfaction with the work of the department. He said the staff continues to try hard to ensure that no one in Nevis goes hungry during these difficult times.