Over 5,000 requests were made for Government assistance through the Barbados Vulnerable Families Survival Programme and the first several hundreds have started to receive funds from the programme designed to ease the economic burden occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Corey Lane told Barbados TODAY that those who registered early last month were the first to receive the much-needed funds between April 21 and 23 through what Lane described as a continuing process.
He said around 700 of the just over 1,700 persons approved so far to receive funds have been paid as of Tuesday.
“So the process is now in full steam,” he said.
Through the stimulus programme Government will provide up to BDS$600 cheques monthly for six months, in the first instance, according to Lane. The programme was implemented to ensure that those families who lost all their income due to COVID-19 are still able to put food on their tables.
Lane, the advisor on poverty alleviation, admitted that there had been a delay in the distribution of monies from the survival fund due to accountability measures which needed to be finalised.
However, the consultant explained “If you look at the amount of work that needs to be done to pull off something like this, this is actually done in good time when you consider the public service.
“You have to collect the names, you have to analyze the assessment; you have to put it into the database, analyse the data, send it over to the ministry, set up the distribution centres with security while maintaining health and safety; call the 1,710 people who have been approved so far and get them to come and collect,” he said.
“There is going to be another lag coming because all the data that was submitted for the 1 700 would have been pulled up to the 23rd of April. So anybody that registered after the 23 until now, I am now sorting out those data to submit,” he added.
Lane indicated that the distribution process was further delayed by some applicants’ failure to provide the relevant and accurate personal information required.
Nevertheless, he said volunteers who came onboard to assist with the process must be commended for their hard work and dedication.
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