– $150M allocated for frontline workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed testing challenges to thousands of families across Guyana. With the aim of bringing relief to those financially-struck families, President Irfaan Ali has announced a cash grant of $25,000 per household.
President Ali made this announcement yesterday as one of the measures promised to be captured in the emergency budget for 2020. This is set to be read at Wednesday’s sitting of the National Assembly by Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill.
Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, who was present with President Ali at a press engagement yesterday, indicated that the government has encountered a number of challenges on how to swiftly get the money to families, while also taking the necessary precautions against the deadly Coronavirus and ensuring that no corruption or wrongdoings occur during the exercise.
It is with this in mind that the VP highlighted that an extensive form has been developed, which requests the name of the recipients, their identification card number, their date of birth, address and other necessary information. Recipients will receive vouchers worth of $25,000 with their forms, which will be distributed by a specially allocated team, Jagdeo said.
“These vouchers,” the VP said, “will be in sequential order. Hopefully we have vouchers by each administrative region so that they cannot be duplicated, and then they (the team) would have to account for each voucher. Members of each household would have to countersign the form and the voucher. Hopefully that will be the accountable way.”
In cases where more than one voucher is needed because there is more than one household in the house, evidence of such will be requested, the VP said. He also noted that a unit will have to present all expenditure to the Auditor General (AG) when an audit is needed to be conducted.
Meanwhile, some $150M has been set aside for frontline workers in the 2020 national budget. The monetary support was also disclosed yesterday by the President who said that the provision aims to showcase the government’s appreciation to health officials in their fight against COVID-19 in Guyana.
“We understand and appreciate the tremendous work that our health and frontline workers are doing, the sacrifices they are making in ensuring that we remain safe and protected as a result given the work they have done for COVID-19 and continues to,” President Ali said.
Recently, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, announced that her ministry will be expanding its Childcare Assistance Programme to provide free childcare to frontline workers.
Minister Persaud, during a virtual press conference on Monday, revealed that assistance will be available to the frontline workers in both the private and public sectors.
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