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More youths seeking ‘hand-outs’ from gov’t

Petrona Davies. File photo

Petrona Davies. File photo

While suggesting that an increasing number of young people who should be employed have been applying for public assistance, the Ministry of Health and Social Development said there is need for the territory to address the culture of ‘hand outs’.

During her recent appearance before the parliament’s Standing Finance Committee, then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development Petrona Davies said there is a need to empower people to escape the cycle of poverty.

According to her, her ministry cannot solve the issue on its own.

In a report made public days ago, the parliamentary committee paraphrased Davies as stating that, in terms of social protection, the ministry is ‘concerned with the need to have a more comprehensive approach rather than hand-outs that may trap persons into a cycle of poverty’.

Based on Davies’ presentation, the parliamentary committee further reported: “The Ministry of Health and Social Development saw more young persons – for example – applying for public assistance, and the ministry had to take a more holistic view as to how to ensure that they will lift persons and families out of the poverty cycle going forward.”

Davies also expressed hope that, going forward, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund will help the Ministry of Social Development assess the social protection systems that exist in the British Virgin Islands.

She also underscored the need to have all sectors of the economy and Government collaborate more effectively to empower people who would normally seek public assistance.

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