NCTF committed to providing sustainable relief to vulnerable persons
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 23, 2020
The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) is exploring a more sustainable approach to provide relief to vulnerable persons in Guyana affected by novel coronavirus.
Prime Minister the Hon. Moses Nagamootoo who also serves as Chairman of the NCTF today clarified the task force’s decision to temporarily suspend the Civil Defence Commission’s distribution of relief hampers.
“It was put on pause because we wanted to have a coordination of the data to ensure that we are, in fact, dealing with the vulnerable sections of the various communities.”
It was disclosed that the NCTF has since engaged the National Data Management Authority (NDMA)and the Ministry of Social Protection (MoSP) to access their databases.
The Prime Minister explained that NDMA’s database comprises a survey of the country’s total population while MoSP’s data bank specifically looks at the country’s elderly and vulnerable population.
“The NDMA has a database which has been culled from previous censuses, it may not be updated to 2020 but it will give us an idea as to the number of persons who have fallen below the poverty line and we have worked with the data from the Ministry of Social Protection dealing with pensioners, persons who receive social assistance and those living in geriatric homes,” he explained.
As such, while the distribution of relief hampers is a good short-term initiative, Prime Minister Nagamootoo noted that there needs to be a satisfactory long-term mechanism in place.
He disclosed that His Excellency David Granger is engaging the agricultural and business sectors to address the issue of agricultural and economical security.
“While we’re dealing with hampers, handouts will not be satisfactory over the long term. There has to be a culmination of several measures,” he remarked before disclosing that Minister of Finance, Honourable Winston Jordan has mentioned “the long-term view of stimulus packages.”
“This will see actual assistance to small businesses and the business sector to stimulate the economy, productive life and employment,” Prime Minister Nagamootoo noted.
Last week, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon announced the NCTF’s decision to revamp the Civil Defence Commission’s nationwide distribution of relief hampers as the current situation in the country is expected to last longer than anticipated.