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
=========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