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Press Release


  May 27, 2009

The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Department of Social Development and Employment, will launch the second phase of the technical cooperation on social protection systems in the Caribbean on this days. This activity is being developed in collaboration with the St. Lucia Social Development Fund under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Transformation of Saint Lucia. Its main goal is to initiate the process of transferring lessons learned from the Puente program of Chile to four Caribbean countries, Barbados, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The countries that participated during the first phase of this program, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago, will also be attending and will present the progress made in the work plans derived from the knowledge transference and will provide technical support to the newcomers to the program.

The workshops will gather technical officers involved in social protection systems in the participating countries, as well as officers from the Solidarity and Social Investment Fund (FOSIS) of Chile, responsible for the implementation of the Puente program. The workshop will be opened by Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant Secretary General of the OAS; Mr. Pablo Coloma, Executive Director of FOSIS; and Mr. Lenard Montoute, Minister of Social Transformation of Saint Lucia.

This initiative was initially funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and currently depends on the financial support of the government of Chile. Under the OAS coordination, the program is based on the technical transfer of the lessons learnt, the fundamentals, and the best practices within the Puente program of FOSIS. Its goal is to strengthen institutional capacity on social protection in the Caribbean. The Puente program of Chile has been recognized throughout the world for the innovative psycho-social support provided to families living in extreme poverty, and for its contribution in reducing poverty levels in Chile.

Reference: E-183/09