By Admin. Updated 4:48 p.m., Thursday, December 9, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
The year 2021 brought unique challenges to the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Those challenges include the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano.
In response to these challenges, the government says that some 10 million dollars have benefited some 13,000 people, including farmers, workers, and vulnerable persons.
Here is a breakdown of assistance provided to different groups of individuals this year. The information was provided through a press release from the Office of the Prime Minister dated December 9, 2021.
SOME SUPPORT FOR FARMERS, WORKERS, VULNERABLE PERSONS PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS 2021
- Supports through Ministry of Social Development:
- Payment of a cash transfer of $800 per household to 3,247 World Food Programme (WFP) household beneficiaries, as a transition from the existing WFP programme to the Soufriere Transitioning Grant for December 2021.
This one-time cash payment covers payments for November and December 2021 ($400 per month per household).
- Payment of one-time cash payment, similarly to the above, for 171 households in the red and orange zones from the WFP programme, but they were unreachable during the registration and assessment process.
- Income support for the following categories of persons affected by the volcanic eruptions:
- 221 small business owners in the red and orange zones: one-time cash transfer of $1,200 ($400 for each of the months of October to December 2021). This cash transfer will be done in two tranches: $800 before Christmas 2021; and $400 at the end of January 2022.
- 91 Tourism Site Vendors: A one-time cash transfer of $900 ($300 for each month of October to December 2021) paid in two tranches: $600 before Christmas; $300 in January 2022.
- 490 school vendors: A one-time cash payment of $600 ($300 for each month November to December 2021) paid in two tranches: $400 before Christmas; $200 in January 2022.
In total the cost of this support in items 1 and 2 above is $3,375,500 million to 4,220 beneficiary families.
- Huge pre-Christmas distribution of food packages through community groups and churches, particularly but exclusively in red and orange zones. At December 24, 2021, the Food Distribution Centre at Campden Park will be closed.
- Income Support of $1,000 to farmers (Belle Isle to Richmond; and Mt. Grenan to Fancy) for the months of November and December ($500 for each month) as follows:
- Chateaubelair District 637 farmers $ 637,000.00
- Troumaca District 888 farmers $ 888,000.00
- Georgetown (including
North of the Dry River) 2,164 farmers $2,164,000.00
Total 3,689 $3,689,000.00
Additionally, BRAGSA is carrying out currently a $3 million road-cleaning programme for Christmas 2021. Over 5,000 persons are employed on this nationally.
In total these above programmes amount to some $10 million to some 13,000 beneficiaries.
There are of course other ongoing support programmes (inclusive of the normal safety net supports) which are assisting many more thousands of persons.
It is to be noted that pay-day for central government employees is December 16, 2021. So, be careful with spending: January 2022 is going to be a “long” month.