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Prof Theodore: Help available for people who lose jobs

VERNE BURNETT Sunday, July 16 2017

PROFESSOR Karl Theodore, director of the Health Economics Unit (HEU) of the University of the West Indies says people who are laid off should not have a problem getting help. He says there are more than 200 to 300 programmes designed to support people who get into trouble.

Theodore was speaking with Newsday on Wednesday after the launch of a programme “Towards National Measurements of Multi-Dimensional Poverty in Trinidad and Tobago,” at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Port of Spain.

Theodore is leading the project which is aimed at measuring poverty in children. He says it is about measuring poverty in a different way.” There are many measures of poverty but they do not tell us what we need to know in order to set up programmes to make a difference and that is the difference with this project,” Theodore said.

“We want to measure it in a way that we will be able to get a sense of what are the interventions that need to take place to make a difference.” The latest statistics on poverty in this country comes from the Survey of Living Conditions which was conducted in 2005 and put the level of poverty at 16.7 per cent of the population.

However, Theodore said one cannot look at the 16 or 18 per cent and know the condition in which children live because “What does that say about children? What percentage of our children are in that 18 per cent? At the end of this we should get a better sense of how different parts of the country experience poverty because, again, you have a national measure.

‘But poverty in Mayaro is different from poverty in Port of Spain and poverty in Charlotteville is different from in Chaguanas.

“What is the nature of that difference? It is by understanding the nature of that difference you get a better sense of what kind of interventions will make a difference.” Theodore said continuing layoffs in different sectors are a bad thing but they cannot be avoided now because the resources of the country have declined. However, he said there is sufficient support for those affected.

“They should think of which one of these 200 or 300 programmes they should try and get attached to but, somehow, the way the assistance is organised, it is not easy for them to do that.” He said the HEU did some work for the Ministry of Social Development where it hoped to show them how to make it easier for people who have needs to link up with one of these programmes.



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