There is still a high level of poverty in SVG and many of our people are suffering day to day. After all these years in office, the ULP regime has failed to successfully tackle the issue of poverty and has let the people down.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and access to justice. Goal 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals is: No Poverty.
According to the United Nations, poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.
All of these things exist in SVG. Throughout the country there are people who go hungry and are malnourished. Some people are forced to exist on one meal a day. Many children of the poor have limited access to education. Paying for things such as books and uniforms are barriers to education for some poor households.
Many families live in extreme poverty and struggle to cater for their most basic needs such as health, and access to clean water and proper sanitation. Poverty robs some people of the time and ability to take part in decision-making in their community. It is amazing that poverty is still a major problem in SVG in 2023.
A future without poverty for our children and grandchildren depends upon a strong economy and the SVG Treasury being able to provide free facilities to our people, including education and health. For that to happen, we need to boost the economy by focusing on exported goods and services. Presently, for every one dollar exported, we import eleven dollars. The negative consequence is a high cost of living in SVG and which prices poorer households out of the ability to adequately sustain their families.
According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, the fight against poverty is still one of the biggest problems in SVG. A Green government would build factories in Vermont and Mespo Valley to produce baby food from breadfruit, eddoes and dasheen; also, a factory for teabags, fruit juice and canned callaloo for export.
A Green government would cut ties with Taiwan and create ties with China. We would build factories to fully utilise our agricultural indigenous resources for export. A Green government can and would build a strong and sustainable agricultural industry and re-invigorate the rural economy.
Under a Green government the rural economy would be strong, as the Green government would ensure markets for agricultural produce. The lack of vision by the ULP regime in identifying export markets for agricultural products is a major problem killing the SVG economy and perpetuating poverty.