The Bureau of Gender Affairs is turning its attention towards a regional Multi-Dimensional Poverty Reduction Project.
Acting Director of the Bureau, Kyra Paul says that the UN-funded project which will focus on health, housing, living conditions and education is currently in the design phase.
“We prepared a draft work plan and submitted that to the United Nations Development Programme. UNDP received US $1m to implement the project over two years; that has to be shared among the five countries. The Bureau is the focal point for that project but we are going to implement that with a number of other stakeholders as well. We’ve been meeting regularly to discuss the way forward and the interventions which are specific to Dominica,” she said. “We are just awaiting our first cheque.”
Paul says the Bureau is committed to the project’s success as well as the personal growth and development of all participants.
“The project steering committee decided to focus on entrepreneurship so that the persons who have already been receiving training and will receive training under the project will get a start-up [sum]. We want to stimulate the rural economy. If we go down that road, we will really be addressing sustainability.”
Paul says the Bureau wants to “go beyond” skills training and reliance on the State.
The Acting Director encourages public participation in the project which she believes will contribute positively towards national development.
“Poverty is an issue which affects both sexes but our statistics tell us that there are those who are affected disproportionately such as women, single-headed households and youth.”
She says, “Your participation means that we are helping you to meet your own needs.”