In an effort to alleviate poverty in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) launched a Country Poverty Assessment Programme designed to address the prevailing challenges, and “improve the way its 19 Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) assess poverty and gain access to data from these assessments”. To this end, the CDB has committed an investment of US.1 million to the project which will be conducted over the next five years.At the programme’s launch in Castries, St Lucia on Tuesday, Division Chief of the CDB’s Social Sector Division, Deidre Clarendon noted that more evidence-based policy decisions were needed to end poverty in the Caribbean.“The Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment Programme launched today responds to the pressing need for high-quality data on poverty. Understanding the causes of poverty, who it affects and how it affects them is at the core of making informed, evidence-based policy decisions and helping Caribbean countries make meaningful, measurable progress in reducing and ending poverty,” Clarendon observed.The CDB noted that the programme will enhance the capacity of the BMCs to conduct multidimensional poverty assessments.“Multidimensional poverty measurement considers how poor people experience poverty which goes beyond income considerations, and takes into account other deprivations – of education, health, housing, empowerment, personal security, and more; through the programme, some countries will either adopt multidimensional poverty measurement as stand-alone studies or integrate it into existing national surveys,” the Bank stated.“Across the Caribbean, policymakers rely heavily on the availability of timely, accurate and reliable poverty data to support national and regional development initiatives. Despite making considerable progress on how they measure poverty, many countries in the Region do not frequently update or report on key poverty indicators, and are not able to assess the non-income dimensions of poverty and human development,” CDB added.It was pointed out that CDB’s Country Poverty Assessment Programme will support Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.Established in 1970, the Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution for the purpose of “contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of regional borrowing member countries.” Apart from its 19 regional borrowing member countries, there are four regional non-borrowing member countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. Non-regional, non-borrowing members are Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.