Beausejour, Carriacou – The 2008 Country Poverty Assessment (CPA) report concluded that nationally 37.7 % of Grenada’s population was absolutely poor, living below the poverty line, and thus could not simultaneously meet with their food and non-food needs.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Forestry, Fisheries and Environment took a deliberate policy decision ion 2013 to launch and implement a Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative (ZHCI).
The budgeted U.S $11,308,000 programme is geared towards eradicating hunger, malnutrition and food security, and is already funded and supported by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Government of Grenada.
In ensuring that this programme meets its expectations, the Ministry of Agriculture is currently visiting parishes throughout the tri-island state, conducting a series of discussions and assessing poverty data.
At a discussion held on the sister-isle of Carriacou, the National Authority for Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative (NAZHCHI) Chairperson, Dr. Malachy Dottin, said that although 2.2 % of Carriacou’s population is considered living below the poverty line, it is still a big issue to be addressed by the programme.
Dr. Dottin said that the action plan which outlined Economic Diversification of the Agricultural Sector, Health and Nutrition, Modernisation of a Social Protection System, Increased Reliance of the Poor, Poor People Income Generation Opportunities and Good Governance are among the key areas to help eliminate poverty on the sister-isles.
He added that under the ZHCHI, during the month of June, two (2)
primary schools and one (1) secondary school on the island will witness the implementation of a School’s Feeding Program and a Health Community Program to be directed by Director of Primary Health Care and Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Martin.
For his part, Dr. Martin said the intention of these programs in the education system is geared towards securing children at an early stage before they become vulnerable to diseases.
Dr. Martin pointed out that there is still a lot of work to be done
and he is looking forward towards moving into different communities to consult with persons on possible ways of implementing effective programs for addressing poverty.
The implementation period of the Grenada’s Zero Hunger Challenge
Initiative is from 2015-19.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Labor, Legal Affairs, Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs and Local Government, Elvin Nimrod welcomed the initiative to the sister isles.
Minister Nimrod noted that the burden of disease, disability, and premature death has shifted from young children to adults during the productive years of their lives, and as such, there is an urgent need to improve the nutrition and health status of the men and women of our tri-island state.
Minister Nimrod is appealing to residents on Carriacou and Petite Martinique to get involved with the initiative in cutting down the 2.2% poverty on the two sister isles.