The Government of Dominica has launched the social cash transfer assistance programme in conjunction with the World Food Program.
The program will provide temporary income support to eligible vulnerable individuals and families whose income have been impacted by covid-19.
Minister for Youth Development and Empowerment, Youth at Risk, Gender Affairs, Seniors’ Security and Dominicans with Disabilities, Honourable Dr. Adis King listed some of the main objectives of the cash transfer program.
“One of the vital components of this social cash transfer is that we are going to support low income communities and vulnerable individuals and it is also designed to implement building on Dominica’s main national assistance program which we have several of. Some of the objectives would be of course to improve the well-being of our vulnerable households especially those who were impacted by covid-19. It would also help us in alleviating some of the poverty, helping people get better access to health as well as education; and we will also be able to mitigate the negative socio-economic impact that covid-19 has had on the vulnerable families and individuals among us. Most of this impact was due to shutdowns, curfew, loss of jobs, loss of income, reduction of income, so this money will surely go a long way in improving their lives,” Dr. King stated.
Dr. King says the program was introduced to assist persons who were directly affected by covid-19.
“The Government of Dominica, through the Ministry of Planning and my Ministry which is responsible for vulnerable people, we decided to put together a concept note to justify a project where we would help our people and we could implement that mechanism. We were greatly supported by the Word Food Programme, and also we had the programme being funded by UK Aid; and so we brought this together and we decided to administer it in a way where the people we knew for a fact were impacted by covid-19 could benefit,” she explained.
The program aims at helping these families meet basic needs while the fight against covid-19 continues.
“The needs we expect it to address is food security, access to health, access to medicine. Sometime we have some poor people in need whose family was impacted, and so right now we can give them this money to help them through this. It will also help with educational needs, so there are a number of benefits,” the Minister noted.
Dr. King identified some of the people who stand to benefit from the program.
“Research has shown that vulnerable people will always be negatively impacted by any disaster. That is why people who are already on the Public Assistance Programme and these are people that are really vulnerable, such as our elderly, our single mothers, our female headed households, people with disabilities, those who become disable with an accident, our people who are neglected, our foster children; these are the people who will benefit from this program,” Dr. King added.