Social services conference, learning lab on the cards as $40.4B human services ministry budget approved

The budgetary provisions for the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security were on Tuesday approved in the Committee of Supply of the National Assembly, totalling some $40.4 billion.

Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud said the programmes and policies of government in the area of social services, have positioned the country as a pacesetter.

Dr Vindhya Persaud, Minister of Human Services and Social Security

She outlined to the committee that, “This year we’ll be hosting a conference to share on some of the more outstanding programmes of the ministry… we will be sharing nationally and regionally the work, we would have done on gender-based violence, and we are the country with one of most exemplary records under Spotlight.

“It is the Spotlight team’s expectation that Guyana leads this discussion because we have a comprehensive programme that focuses on strategies to tackle gender-based violence, as different from every other country in the region, which includes Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The conference will allow the ministry to speak on several initiatives, including the 914/24-hour hotline and the range of services that the ministry offers such as the survivors’ advocate programme, which Minister Persaud noted is new to the region.

The human services ministry has also created the iMatter app, which has a series of resources that persons can access using their electronic devices, including a 914-panic button.

Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s resource app

“The kind of sharing we will do [will also showcase] the development of a referral pathway that links all of our regions through the police, healthcare, and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s programmes, “the minister added.

Meanwhile, expenditure under childcare and protection services will see the implementation of a juvenile processing centre that will provide the necessary services for young persons, who have come into conflict with the law, to develop themselves.

The establishment of a learning lab, an institution that caters to the training and empowerment of persons living with disabilities, will also come on stream in 2023.