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ST.KITTS-NEVIS STUDENTS ABROAD AFFECTED BY COVID-19 TO RECEIVE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT VIA THREE-PRONGED ASSISTANCE APPROACH

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Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 25, 2020 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has made provisions to ensure that students who are stuck abroad due to the COVID-19 Pandemic receive the assistance required using a three-pronged approach, said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris on Saturday (April 25) edition of Inside the News on Winn FM 98.9.

“One involving our diplomatic missions which, of course, must be our first response point to our citizens who are located abroad. Principally, for those in the United States of America, Dr. Thelma Phillip-Browne [Ambassador of the Embassy of St. Kitts and Nevis in Washington, D.C] is on board to serve and she has been doing a good job and has indicated that through her instrumentality we have been able to mobilize support to our students there and that work continues,” said the prime minister.

Citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis can contact the foreign missions overseas in Taiwan, Washington D.C., New York, London and Brussels, as well as in Dubai and North Africa in Morocco for assistance.

The second approach includes assistance from the government. A committee comprising principally of the Permanent Secretary of Education, William V. Hodge, and Chief Personnel Officer at this time, Permanent Secretary Andrew Skeritt, has been established to assist students.

“I have indicated that beyond that work, the government will provide support on a needs basis to those students who make an application,” he added. “They both [the committee members] will make an assessment and determine the level of grant support that will be accorded to each student.”

Students will also have the option of getting financial support through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“There is a third-prong of support and that is, there are students who have indicated that for them to complete the programme – which in some cases will run on – they would need additional support,” he said. “The Development Bank is a most significant provider of student loans and we have asked the bank to do the facilitation and to apply the moratorium which is now in vogue in the commercial banking sector to any loan that is to be made and to make sure that it offers this most generous interest rate. The government has been doing all that we humanly can to ensure that support is rendered. The support that we can render to our students, that support is being made available to them,” Prime Minister Harris added.

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