Poverty is a life long phenomenon that has been with us from historical times and has transcended through generations. The word poverty canoes an undesirable state which individuals or groups may be experiencing and need some assistance in changing. Early efforts by the Moyne Commission report sought to relieve poverty by implementing a system where the poor would receive social welfare provisions. In addition to this, Harewood and Henry( ) p. 4 highlighted that the Economic Planning Machinery that evolved from the inspiration of the Arthur Lewis industrialization model, had as its objective the elimination of poverty through job creation and the redistribution of income through public sector expenditures such as education and health.
However, despite these efforts as well as the intensive research on poverty, the Caribbean still has not been successful in improving the standard of living of its general population. Farley Brathwaite ( ), p. 3 notes, "the pervasiveness and the conditions of the poor are the two perplexing problems facing the Caribbean society."
Poverty in the region has been estimated at 38% of the total population. Consequently poverty is not only endemic to the Caribbean societies but it is also a persistent and problematic social problem throughout the world. Poverty is correlated to many other social problems such as inequality, crime, environmental degradation, poor nutrition, inadequate health services and unemployment which makes it more wide spread, difficult to identify and solve.
Schaefer (2001), p.213, notes "the efforts of sociologists and other social scientist to better understand poverty are complicated by the difficulty of defining it." Jeffrey Dellimore in his study of An Approach To The Challenges Of Poverty Alleviation And Reduction highlighted the fact that "there is no internationally accepted definition of poverty." Esmond D. Ramesar stated that poverty could be defined as narrowly as...