Government’s chief counsellor on poverty alleviation is painting a damning picture of the housing situation facing the country’s poor.
Advisor on Poverty Eradication and the United Nations Sustainable Goals Undene Whittaker today described homes so crammed that they risk bursting at the seam.
Whittaker told Barbados TODAY there were cases where as many as 22 people were sharing a three bedroom house because of the tough economic situation.
She did not name any district and but said social issues such as domestic abuse were leading to overcrowding.
Whittaker said Government was hoping to tackle the problem through the Implementation Stabilization Enablement and Empowerment (ISEE) Bridge Programme of 2012, established by the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development to battle inter-generational poverty.
Currently in its second phase, 30 families are targeted to address basic needs such as education, health and employment. The third phase of the programme will extend to 250 persons.
The Government advisor spoke at a review of Barbados’ efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal to eliminate poverty by 2030.
Effective from January 1, 2016 Barbados became one of 169 countries working with the UN to achieve 17 transformative goals aimed at poverty reduction and global development.
“In its attempt to achieve the goal of ending poverty, the countries which signed on to these sustainable goals agree that all people must enjoy a basic standard of living, utilizing social protection systems where necessary,” Whittaker explained.
The action oriented goals include ending hunger by achieving food security, achieving gender equality empowering women and girls, taking urgent action to combat climate change and protection, restoration and promotion of sustainable ecosystems.