Statement by the Minister for Health and Social Development"
Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton
On the Household Assistance Programme
Wednesday, October 17, 2017
Honourable Skelton’s Statement on the Household Assistance Programme
Residents of the Virgin Islands, there is a well-known saying that ‘tough times don’t last, tough people do’. When I reflect on this saying, I can’t help but think on the current status of our islands and the resilience of the people who are working endlessly day and night to build back our Territory. In this regard, I would like to take this time to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our partners, local, regional and international alike, for their on-going efforts towards recovery post hurricanes Irma and Maria.
With any disaster, we must go through different phases as we continue to transition into the full scope of recovery and that includes addressing the needs of the people; in particular, the most vulnerable. I am glad to announce that Cabinet has approved a Household Assistance Programme which supports these efforts in providing to the most vulnerable households that were identified and defined in a recent Rapid Household Needs Assessment.
In this phase, the Government of the Virgin Islands with the assistance of the BVI Red Cross, the British Red Cross, Department for International Development (DFID) and Caritas Antilles will begin registering persons that meet the criteria of having low to no income, single parent households, women with children five years and under, the elderly and the disabled. From this registration, qualified persons and households will then be eligible for assistance that will come in various forms to meet their needs.
I therefore invite other NGO’s to partner with the Government, so we can all provide some sort of relief systematically and with dignity to those who require urgent attention during our most critical time. I do hope that together, we can move forward as a people who continue to be each other’s keeper and move straight ahead into a stronger BVI.
May Jehovah bless us all and these beautiful Virgin Islands. Thank you.