Our Readers' Opinions
November 19, 2004
Friends of Poverty Eradication Policies

Editor: While addressing the nation on matters of social and economic concerns at a press conference recently, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves warned in passing that the social progress made so far by the Government could be reversed.

That statement, while sounding simple, is quite profound. If that statement becomes reality, our society will lose a great part of its social capital and resources. {{more}}

If there is a strong possibility that all these poverty reduction and eradication initiatives of the Government were reversed, then all freedom-loving Vincentians have an obligation or responsibility to ensure that this does not happen. Therefore, maybe concerned Vincentians should create a committee called “Friends of Poverty Eradication Policies”, quite similar to the Friends of the Library or Friends of the Tobago Cays.

This committee would advocate for sustaining poverty reduction and eradication initiatives and their constant improvement. It should be non-partisan and made up of only those who are fully and freely committed to removing the conditions in which poverty strives.

When all is said and done, the hungry must be fed, the homeless housed, the sick cared for, the unemployed employed, the naked clothed, the oppressed liberated, the exploited given justice, illiterates educated, and the weak in spirit made strong. Unless these things happen, no Vincentian will truly be free.

The Government has put forward good poverty reduction and eradication policies that have brought temporary or short-term relief to poor people, and there are those policies that will show real benefits in years to come.

Therefore, attempts to turn back or reverse progress against poverty reduction and eradication policies might just turn the entire nation into a pillar of salt. Freedom-loving Vincentians should never allow this to happen.

Maxwell Haywood