Over 800 families benefit from COVID-19 relief in Region Six

– Government delivering Manifesto promises

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, today, distributed over 800 hampers to families and vulnerable groups in several communities in East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) to bring relief to those experiencing challenges due to the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.  

Persons in communities such as Canefield, Adelphi, Gangaram, Betsy Ground, Goed Banenen Land and Reliance benefited from the hampers, which contain a one month’s supply of food stuff and hygiene items.

“We are grateful to be here and to address you. We are also happy to visit these communities once again. We would also like to assure you that we have started to fulfil our promises and we intend to work with your communities to ensure that we remain connected. This is our continuous approach to understanding the issues that are affecting you,” President Ali said.

The Head of State emphasised that the outreaches are critical to the Government’s drive to ensure that issues are addressed from the community level. He also assured that the engagement is the first of many to follow, which will be designed to tackle issues head-on, once the threat of COVID-19 disease has dissipated.

President Ali also informed the residents of upcoming measures designed to reenergize communities which have been severely impacted by the closure of the sugar estates and the ensuing loss of jobs.  He explained to the residents and regional official gathered that the intervention measures to be implemented will tackle the social and economic challenges facing the citizens, including job creation, upgrading sporting facilities and community roads and the provision of essential services to residents.

The President said provisions will be made in the upcoming Emergency Budget as well as the main Budget early next year, when issues will be addressed in a more comprehensive manner.   

The Head of State also alluded to additional stimulus initiatives and a $5 billion-dollar injection to bring much needed relief to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This injection, he said, is as a direct result of the sale of Treasury Bills.

“Our commitments are even stronger today than when we made them during our campaign and which are included in our Manifesto. We are committed to these things that would improve your livelihoods and we will work every day in the best interest of the entire country,” President Ali said.

The Head of State also informed the residents of the Government’s targeted plan to bring back jobs to the communities.  

President Ali expressed gratitude to members of the Private Sector, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), religious organisations and other stakeholders for supporting the relief exercise.

“It is with the support of our partners that we are able to do this as we understand your hardships. We are here to support the development aspirations of all of the communities,” the President said.

Notwithstanding today’s outreach, President Ali cautioned the gathering about his Administration’s limitations with regards to the extent of the intervention measures which are possible.

“There is a limited capacity to what can be done due to the expenditure of the last Government. We inherited a broken system, yet we are still mobilising resources to make your life better,” he said.

Despite this, the President assured that every effort will be made to continuously address the concerns of communities, particularly in vulnerable areas.

During the engagement in the various communities, President Ali also reminded the residents to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and regulations, which include social distancing, sanitising and mask wearing, to stem the disease.

Several recipients of the relief hampers expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the Head of State.  Many noted that the initiative was timely and will provide much needed assistance during this challenging period.

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