Approaching its self-imposed six-month deadline, the Recover Saint Lucia Initiative (RSLI), launched by the business community in November 2020, will continue its invaluable economic assistance for an additional three-month period.
At a just-concluded meeting of its Main Committee, decision-makers agreed that while much had been achieved, a lot of help was still needed on the ground as peoples’ livelihoods have not returned to normal.
Among its primary achievements are $90,000 in food vouchers distributed in December 2020 and again in April 2021; an islandwide public information campaign which included live community interventions to encourage observance of heath protocols, and the production and dissemination of several public service announcements in English and Kwéyòl through social and traditional broadcast media; as well as the distribution of over 12,000 disposable and reusable masks.
Through focused activity, RSLI has achieved its critical targets which included more pervasive use of masks, greater adherence to specific protocols in public places, fewer business interruptions and a resurgence of more normal economic activity.
The RSLI Committee made special note of the measured strides that have been made in country as there has been less reliance on general shutdowns as a strategy to manage the pandemic. RSLI further considered three important areas which still require attention.
1. Additional public awareness about vaccine options and alternatives which will contribute to reduced health risk and accelerate economic recovery.
2. Support to the entrepreneurial sector via business-to-business linkages which can boost economic activity and improve employment prospects.
3. Support to Farmers under the Seven-Crop Project which aims to boost Food Security.
As it moves into the next three months of activity, the RSLI President and Main Committee members acknowledged the contributions of financial, human, and material support which have been forthcoming from the wider business sector as well as the strong spirit of volunteerism which continues to fuel its efforts.