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Feb 10, 2003

National Council on Ageing appointed

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Under the new budget women over sixty-five will soon receive full coverage by the Social Security scheme. Today the attention for older Belizeans continued with the appointment of a National Council on Ageing. News 5′s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting

Once they leave the work force, Belize’s elderly are often ignored by the rest of society. Now, a new body will focus on their rights and needs. The National Council on Ageing was today introduced by Minister of Human Development, Dolores Balderamos Garcia. Its first task is to carry out the objectives of the National Policy for Older Persons.

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“The concept of secure ageing, that is, ensuring all older persons basic rights are met. Secondly, the eradication of all old-age poverty. Third, the removal of age-based barriers to economic and political participation. Fourthly, the recognition of important gender issues. Five, the urgency of health and material provision in old age, and sixth, the need for more research and data gathering on dimensions of old-age in developing countries.”

Chairperson of the Council, Kamela Palma, says while the Policy focuses on the economically disadvantaged, it is broad enough to include everyone.

Kamela Palma, Commission Chairperson

“There are people for example, who have contributed without ever getting a salary, women especially in our country. The policy seeks to address the needs across the board of such persons. So it’s not a matter of an older person who has had a job, or an older person who is indigent. It is looking right across the board at covering the indigent and enhancing what we now have and covering those who are facing retirement and entering that golden age.”

Marion Ali for News 5.

In developing countries, the proportion of older people is predicted to rise from eight to nineteen percent by 2050, while the proportion of children is expected to fall from thirty-three percent to twenty-two. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of older persons will rise the fastest: two point eight percent per year, compared with two point one percent globally.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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