GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – In February 2014, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and the Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) organized a MAF (Millennium Acceleration Framework) workshop.
The goal of the workshop is to create an action plan to address two major concerns facing Sint Maarten today which are the issues of poverty and environmental degradation.
A report undertaken in 2011 under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) programme identified poverty and the environment as two pressing concerns requiring immediate action in the country.
In finding realistic solutions to best tackle poverty and the environment, a workshop made up of representatives from the public, private sector and civil society met and identified four key areas that will have the highest impact value in addressing both poverty and environmental concerns within the country. The four key areas are: Neighborhood/District Improvement (Target Group: People living in low income neighbourhoods); Provision of Programs for youth in the community (Target Group: Unemployed Youth); Alleviation of the Socio Economic burden of the elderly (Target group: Low income seniors); and Conservation of Nature.
These key areas are significant for they represent a united and coordination action by all sectors working together to tackle the pressing issues of poverty within the country and the way the environment should be protected.
Currently, an expert group is working on the budget and activities of the MAF action plan. This will also be part of the National Development plan.
‘We are almost there, with the aforementioned MAF action-plan’, Loekie Morales, Program Manager for MDG’s at BAK stated.
Furthermore, out of the action plan two pilot projects of each $60.000,00 in Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Sustainability will be selected for execution in 2014.
The final draft action-plan will be presented on July 23, where relevant stakeholders will be invited to complete the MAF plan and to kick off the executional phase.
This process ties in to the overall National Development Plan (NDP) Project whereby the Public and Private Sector and Civil Society are joining forces to determine the future direction of Sint Maarten.