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Money Done For COVID Food Assistance Program #546831
12/11/20 06:09 AM
12/11/20 06:09 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
The Minister of Human Development, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia informed the Cabinet that funds for the OFID FUNDED Food Assistance Program were completely depleted prior to general elections. As we know it, this program was only to provide six baskets to needy families, which had been accomplished, explaining why there were no funds left.

With that, Cabinet approved the allocation of resources necessary to fund the program for December and agreed to examine the possibility of additional funding for continuation of the program.

The Cabinet also established a subcommittee to review the government's options in connection with employment contracts of the past administration's political appointees.

Finally, they approved the constitution of an Economy Recovery Team to make recommendations for sustainable economic activity and recovery as well as job creation.

Channel 7

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One Mo’ Grocery Bag for 2020!

There is an update tonight on the status of the Ministry of Human Development’s food programme. We have confirmed that there are only enough supplies for one more round to be distributed through the Grocery Bag programme which will take place on Tuesday, December fifteenth. At this time, there are no future dates if or when the next distribution will take place because the ministry reports that there are no funds to procure additional groceries for the remainder of this financial year. We reached out to Chief Executive Officer Tanya Santos of the Ministry of Human Development for an update on the status of the programme, following a review that was done over the past three weeks when the programme took a pause. Santos says that the assessment showed that there were many deserving recipients on the list, but there were also many others on the list who weren’t the target beneficiaries and so they were removed and replaced by other underprivileged families. Santos said, “People who are working; people who are public officers; some people who are on contract with the government were receiving and essentially what we have done is clean the list to the best of our ability and knowledge so that really who actually need it –the poor – can get on this programme.” In a release coming out of Cabinet on Wednesday, it was announced that just under a million dollars were allocated for a special December COVID-19 Relief to be shared among thirty-one constituencies to assist disadvantaged Belizeans. Speaking on the future of the food assistance programme, the release goes on to say, “additionally, Cabinet approved allocation of resources necessary to fund the FAP for December and agreed that the Minister of Finance along with the Minister of Human Development will examine the possibility of additional funding for continuation of the program.”

Channel 5

Re: Money Done For COVID Food Assistance Program [Re: Marty] #546858
12/12/20 06:13 AM
12/12/20 06:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

When Will COVID Food Supplies Come Online?

But even before a revenue measure is passed, many of the four thousand plus persons with active COVID infections are asking about food supplies promised to them by the new government.

It's not ready yet, but soon said the Minister today:

Marisol Amaya- Reporter
"I know that the Prime Minister has said obviously the Government is strapped for cash but the food assistance to those who are in quarantine or self isolation, you mentioned that when you gave your interview, when does that become operational?"

Hon. Michel Chebat
"Well, we are working on that. We are working with the Minister of Human Development to get that as quickly as possible and so that is in the making as early as Monday we are hoping for today. But we have met some kinks along the way. So we are ironing those out and we are hoping by Monday to start implementing that."

No Money For Feeding Program

And while the food program for COVID patients should be getting underway, the food assistance program for those who've lost their jobs due to COVID has been suspended. Why? The funds are done! Today, the Prime Minister said it was all used up:

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"All funds were spent before November 11th. They left $1 million dollars for the food pantry or the grocery bags or whatever it is you want to call it. They left $1 million. The $10.5 million that has just come in towards that, the government had already spent it, they borrowed it from Central Bank. So that has to be paid. So we just decided in Cabinet that we are going to make the monies available to continue that program at least until the end of this financial year. The unemployment relief, they spent everything. They even gave three months in advance just before the election to people when it's supposed to be something that is given either bi-monthly or at least once a month. They gave everything. There are a number of top up cards that did not get the funding and it's simply because they went with everything. So, now we have to find how we are going to source these monies. We have to talk to our international partners and the IFI's and do our very best to get the funds to be able to continue to help our Belizeans that are in distress through no fault of theirs."

Channel 7



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