Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Women advancement in St. Kitts and Nevis will be further enhanced following the October 12 signing of a project dubbed the Implementation Agreement for Assisting the Economic Empowerment of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Post-Pandemic of COVID-19—Technical Assistance for Women’s Employment and Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion.
The project, which will enhance the opportunities of women folk, will run for 17 months, commencing in 2022 at year end.
Minister of Social Development and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said that the project is timely especially at a time when COVID-19 continues to raise its ugly head. He thanked Taiwan’s International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) for its “generous commitment of US 2.1 million dollars towards the success” of the project.
“Today marks the signing of an agreement between our two countries for the execution of a programme of assistance and economic empowerment of women, a post-pandemic measure,” said Minister Hamilton, while delivering remarks at the signing ceremony. “We are here and we are ravaged by the vicissitudes resulting from the Pandemic. Families, especially single-parent families exposed to hardship due to lockdowns and quarantine and small businesses, especially those run by women are facing troubling times. While the government has introduced stimulus packages through 2020 and continuing through 2021, geared towards buttressing the myriad of social protection programmes, there is still a growing need to create endurance among women business folk through training and in some cases providing financial support,” he added.
Minister Hamilton encouraged women of all walks of life to take advantage of the project.
“We encourage unemployed women, women seeking jobs, women entrepreneurs, women business owners where one-third of their employees are women and other businesses where half of their employees are women to register and benefit from the training and from the technical assistance and also the financial assistance where necessary,” said Minister Hamilton. “We look forward to seeing women 16 years and over, women executives, managers, and managers of new enterprises and women who are self-employed.”
According to Minister Hamilton, the project will provide a grant funding of over US $3,000 to help women in achieving their desired goals.
“Financial support of over US $3, 000 would be given to support 10 business startups and at least one business would qualify for an elite award of US $9,930. This is significant. It is a significant stimulus programme that will provide economic benefits for women and their families as they paddle their economic canoes through turbulent times,” he said.
Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Michael C.H. Lin (LIN, Chau Horng), said that the project is the latest initiative by his government in cooperation with the Federation to “boost women entrepreneurship and small business-based economy.”
“The Republic of China (Taiwan) has been standing with St. Kitts and Nevis to combat the Pandemic and has reached out to help the women this year through a series of online vocational training courses on many professions including beauty, hospitality, trade and digital skills etc. The courses were popular and dozens of applicants enlisted,” said Ambassador Lin. “To further strengthen women entrepreneurship and in the hope that more women and the economy on a large scale will benefit, we are delighted to cooperate with Minister Hamilton and the Ministry in this project.”
The project is a regional initiative that will be carried out in nine countries within the Caribbean and Latin America that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. These include St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Paraguay.