Food security a top priority – NCTF

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Government of Guyana through the National COVID-19 Task Force Secretariat continues to take a holistic approach to ensure the nation’s people are protected and catered for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was reiterated by the Secretariat’s Operations Director Mark Archer during a virtual press conference on Saturday. He stated that food security remains a top priority as such, the COVID-19 Public Assistance Programme was implemented to address the needs of those affected by the pandemic.

The programme targets single-parent households, households in which one or more persons suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19 and households that are managed by elderly persons or persons living with disabilities all across the nation.

According to the Operations Director, by May 25, approximately 2000 persons had applied for public assistance using the on-line platform with 64percent being from the Demerara-Mahaica area (Region 4), followed by Regions 3, 6 and 10 in that order.

“The majority of applicants indicated that their primary need was assistance to access food.”

He explained that due to the overwhelming response to the programme, a decision was taken to make June 5 the cut off date for initial applications and commence the verification process of the applicants.

“On Friday, 26 June, 1,750 Pandemic Assistance vouchers were delivered by the Ministry of Social Protection to Post Offices in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10.

Pandemic Assistance vouchers for Regions 1, 4,7, 8 and 9 were delivered to the Guyana Post Office Corporation Head Office for distribution Monday 29th June,” Archer detailed.

It was decided that persons living along the coast will receive vouchers to visit select supermarkets while those in hinterland communities will benefit from hamper distributions.

The recipients are redeeming the vouchers for $2,000 to $32,000 worth of foodstuff and cleaning supplies.

The Civil Defence Commission packaged 5,101 hampers which will be delivered to hinterland households with the assistance of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.

Currently, over 12,000 applications are being processed electronically. A decision on the roll-out of the second phase is expected to be announced soon.

Persons who may be eligible but have not yet applied can still do so. The application form can be downloaded from the Ministry of Social Protection’s website at https://mosp.gov.gy/ or https://government.gy/eform/241.

For those persons without access to the internet, contact can be made with the Ministry of Communities or the Ministry of Social Protection to have their application form completed by an Officer.

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