MSDFS and Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government meet to discuss matters of mutual interest

January 5, 2020, Port-of-Spain: Just a few weeks following a high level stakeholder meeting to discuss the issue of street dwelling, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox, Minister of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS), continued her series of technical meetings with individual stakeholder Ministries and agencies.  Earlier today, she met with Senator, The Honourable Kazim Hosein, and his Team from the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, at the Ministry’s Head Office on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.

Also in attendance were both Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry, Jacinta Bailey-Sobers and Sheila Seecharan, as well as Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS), Vijay Gangapersad; and from the Ministry of Rural and Local Government, was Acting DPS Raymond Seepaul and Coordinator of the Disaster Management Unit, Mr. Jerry David.

Meeting discussions were centred around strategies for collaboration by both Ministries, with a focus on a more integrated approach in order to meet their various mandates.  Some of the matters discussed included among other things, a seamless disaster management and flood relief system, community networking, as well as possible solutions to the street dwelling issue. The meeting also presented an opportunity to explore data sharing arrangements related to the issuance of disaster relief grants and services, which will also add value to the digitalization thrust of the Government.

According to Minister Cox, “It is important for both Ministries to meet and discuss issues of mutual interest, but in particular the mechanisms for both Ministries to collaborate and work closer to create synergies and to maximise scarce resources during these challenging times.”  Another highlight of the meeting was the discussion on the impending introduction of a Community First Responder System, which is being spearheaded by the MSDFS to enable communities to partner with Government and business to bring immediate relief to vulnerable families. Minister Hosein gave the assurance that his Ministry stands ready to provide all necessary support and welcomed the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to better serve the various communities.

The Meeting ended with both Ministries agreeing to establish necessary policies and procedures to implement the plans discussed. Another stakeholder Meeting is planned for tomorrow – January 6, 2021 with Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.  The meeting will take place at the Ministry’s Head Office on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.

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