Monday, October 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty which has been observed every year since 1993.
Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams says that country Sint Maarten has committed itself to the betterment of the human condition and the quality of life of all our people.
During World Food Day Exhibition on Sunday at the University of St. Martin (USM), the Prime Minister stressed that all over the world, those living in poverty are always hardest hit by skyrocketing food prices.
The theme of the 2011 observance is "From Poverty to Sustainability: People at the Centre of Inclusive Development."
In 1993, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries, a need that has become a development priority.
At the Millennium Summit with respect to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half by the year 2015 the number of people living in extreme poverty, people whose income is less than one dollar a day.
The MDG’s are eight internationally-agreed targets aimed to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, diseases, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015.
The country MDG Report aims to capture Sint Maarten’s progress towards these Goals, while at the same time, highlighting the challenges and strategic policy interventions needed to meet them on or before 2015.
"October 17 presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.
"Sint Maarten has subscribed to the MDG and is working diligently to meet these goals by 2015. It is indeed a challenge, but the Integrated Neighborhood Development Program (INDP) is a project that will benefit the districts in a positive and sustainable manner," Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Sunday.
Participation of the poor themselves on October 17 around the world has been at the centre of the Day’s celebration since its very beginning.
The commemoration of 17 October also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.