– Advertisement –
Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has expressed concern over gang violence, the cost of living, and youth unemployment during a radio interview.
Pierre spoke last week on Rev-Up-SLU 97.1 FM.
He said his administration inherited debt and massive deficits, mainly but not solely due to COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the Castries East MP said he was pleased with where Saint Lucia is currently.
However, he explained that things could be better, noting the need to strive for excellence.
“We are striving more and more,” the Prime Minister stated.
“We are hoping that some things would be better. We are very concerned about the rate of gang violence. We are very concerned about it. We are still concerned about unemployment among young people,” Pierre said.
“And of course, we are concerned about the cost of living, and we make no excuses for the fact that there has been an increase,” the Finance Minister said.
But Pierre observed that we do not live on Mars.
He indicated that inflation, the cost of living, and food security had become issues worldwide.
Pierre described food security and climate change as two global problems.
Regarding the former, the Saint Lucia Prime Minister asserted that more people now suffer from food insecurity than before.
He blamed the situation on climate change, the Russia-Ukraine war, and disruptions in the supply chain.
Pierre recalled that after the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a massive goods supply blockage.
In addition, he referred to problems with the Panama Canal, where the waters are drying up, affecting the passage of ships.
“So there are many global issues that Small Island States have absolutely no control over, and we are suffering,” Pierre explained.
He observed that aside from being concerned about the cost of living and food, his administration had taken ‘definitive measures’ to address the problem.
Pierre stated he was concerned that Saint Lucia imports most of its food.
As a result, he reiterated the need for the country to produce and consume more of what it eats.
He recalled advising increased use and production of local bananas and cassava but said the opposition and its surrogates made a fuss and behaved as though he was speaking ‘nonsense.’
However, Pierre said his remarks emphasised the need for Saint Lucia to feed itself.
He said if everyone could plant a little in their backyard, it would help with the inflation problem.