Government Better-positioned to Address Poverty – Director of Audit

Dominica’s Director of Audit, Clarence Christian believes that as a result of the poverty reduction measures adopted by government, this current administration is now better able to deal with the socio-economic issues of the country.

Speaking to GIS News, Christian noted that based on reports conducted by a Trinidadian-based consulting firm, the level of poverty in Dominica had fallen from thirty-nine percent (39%) in 2003 to twenty-eight percent (28%) in 2009.

The Director of Audit also confirmed that absolute poverty had also declined from ten percent (10%) in 2003 to three point two percent (3.2%) in 2009.

Prior to the poverty survey done by the bank in 2002, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), no formal poverty assessment survey had been done in Dominica.

In 2003, the Government of Dominica implemented a series of measures to reduce poverty on the island.

Such measures included the introduction of the Housing Revolution Programme, the Squatter Regularization Programme and the sustenance of the island’s Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).

Dowasco’s ongoing upgrade of existing water systems and the installation of new water systems across the country, the provision of scholarships for tertiary level education and investments in the agricultural sector were other key strategies put in place by the Labour Party Administration to alleviate poverty on a national level.

In recent years, the Caribbean Development Bank along with the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, the Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been assisting developing countries (such as Dominica) in their efforts to eradicate poverty.