Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 15, 2019 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis pledges to continue efforts to enhance local awareness of the importance of statistics, as well as strengthen the quality of data collection and analysis based on international standards, while improving relations with development partners to achieve these goals.
Minister of Social Services, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton made this commitment during a national radio and television address to officially mark the 11th Observance of Caribbean Statistics Day on October 15, 2019.
Minister Hamilton noted that Caribbean Statistics Day, which was first commemorated in October 2009 in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), highlights the crucial role that statistics plays across a wide spectrum of activities and sectors. He added that statistics has a significant impact on the work of the public and private sectors, as well as academia.
He also said statistics affects the lives of individuals. For instance, actuaries use statistics to assess the likelihood of future events and calculate the associated financial costs, if they were to happen. Many of them work in the insurance industry, helping insurance companies to determine risk levels and premium prices.
“Statistics is important to the government – in the management of policies and programmes; the business sector – for pursuing productive and profitable ventures, and the general public – for making rational decisions regarding spending and life’s ambitions,” the minister stated.
The Team Unity administration has relied on the expertise of actuaries on matters such as Universal Health Care and resolving all outstanding issues with respect to incorporating Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs) into the pensionable establishment. The administration has also engaged an actuary to provide advice and support in enhancing the sustainability of the Severance Fund for present and future generations of workers.
The minister stated that, “Accurate statistics is ever so relevant to our Federation in that our regional and international partners utilize it to evaluate and tailor the type of support that they could provide to St. Kitts-Nevis.”
Minister Hamilton noted that the Statistics Department in the Ministry of Sustainable Development is carrying out an Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment to report on the incidence of poverty and assess the general improvement in living conditions of the population.
“The importance of such data is to update the basic information and enable policymakers to conduct more effective planning and implementation of programmes. Inevitably, this would better prepare us for the effects of natural disasters, economic crises, and other negative unforeseen circumstances that could result in the loss of lives,” the minister stated.
Honourable Hamilton stated that the Team Unity administration will continue to give “every support to the efforts of the Statistics Department.”