National Poverty Consensus Forum holds second meeting for 2018
Thu, 04 October 2018
The President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, chaired the second meeting of the National Poverty Consensus Forum for this year, at State House this morning.
In addressing members at the meeting, the President commended the Office of the Secretary of State for Poverty Alleviation for the strong emphasis placed on improving coordination with key partners such as the Agency for Social Protection, SIFCO, and other stakeholders which has led to people getting rapid access to assistance. The President informed members that this coordination has resulted in families sometimes receiving assistance from the Agency for Social Protection in less than 24 hours.
President Faure reviewed the actions that were a result of the discussions from previous meetings of the National Poverty Forum. Among those actions was the setting up of the Rapid Response Committee chaired by the President himself. The Committee meet on a fortnightly basis to follow up on the different actions proposed at the National Poverty Consensus Forum.
The President announced several new initiatives to alleviate poverty in Seychelles. For instance, in 2019, the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) will install pre-paid meters at certain households that fall under the “Income Supplementation” programme. The Seychelles Trading Company is working with the Agency for Social Protection to introduce a pre-paid card system to assist families on the “Income Supplementation” programme. Families will be able to use the card to purchase important items at STC. This will take effect in January 2019.
President Faure also announced that PUC is finalising the democratisation of solar photovoltaic (PV), whereby 550 homes in the country on the “Income Supplementation” programme will benefit from 300 free units of electricity per month. He explained that in those 550 households, 400 families will benefit from power from the solar farm on Ile Romainville and 150 families will benefit from solar panel installations on their roofs. Such measures will support efforts to ensure the proper use of assistance by households.
Another result of the Forum’s discussions is the allocation of SR20 million toward housing projects for the vulnerable. This allocation will be made in the 2019 Budget.
Following an update on the work of the National Poverty Forum, members followed two presentations by the National Statistics Bureau. The first presentation was a snapshot of the survey results undertaken in the various regions of the country. The second presentation was based on the Seychelles Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index. Members had opportunity to ask for clarification on both presentations and provide guidance on the way forward. The final results of the poverty survey will be published in three months’ time, while the first data on the Seychelles Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index will be published at the end of April 2019.
Members of the Forum present at this morning’s meeting included Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon; Minister of Health, Mr Jean-Paul Adam; Minister of Family Affairs, Ms Mitcy Larue; Minister of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, Mr Maurice Loustau-Lalanne; Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Mrs Jeanne Simeon; the Secretary of State for Poverty Alleviation, Ambassador Dick Esparon; CEO of Agency for Social Protection, Mr Marcus Simeon; PS for Community Development, Mrs Marie-Celine Vidot; CEO SNYC, Mr Alvin Laurence; Deputy CEO NSB, Ms Helena De Letourdie; Economic Advisor to the President, Mr Bertrand Belle; Chairperson CEPS, Mr Jude Fred; Representative of Parti Lepep, Mrs Giovanna Charles; and Secretary to the Forum, Ms Margaret Pillay.