Press release – COVID-19 relief cash grant taken to Region 8

(October 13, 2020)

Residents of Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight) are the latest beneficiaries of the Government of Guyana’s $25,000 per household COVID-19 relief cash grant initiative. One hundred and twenty-seven households in Micobie, Lower Potaro River received their grant while 210 households benefitted in Kurukabaru, a remote village located in the Pakaraima Mountains.

The Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon. Pauline Sukhai, who also has parliamentary responsibility for Region Eight, was part of the team conducting the distribution exercise in Micobie and Kurukabaru. She explained that the initiative, which was announced by the President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali last month, is aimed at providing assistance to families who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Sukhai clarified that while many are of the opinion that the grant is not sufficient, persons must understand that the PPP/C Government is merely two-months-old and was able to provide both financial and other assistance to residents.

“The cash grant is one per household because as you know we have the entire country to look after. We know that some families are big and in some cases more than one family is living in a household. However, where this situation exists, we will make note of it so that it can be taken into consideration in the future,” Minister Sukhai said.

The Amerindian Affairs Minister noted that the Government has been working tirelessly over the last two months to ensure the citizens, especially those residing in the hinterland regions, have access to resources that will limit their movements to other villages and neighbouring countries. When the administration took office in August, it immediately distributed food hampers to all the families in Kurukabaru and surrounding villages Kanapang, Itabac, and Paramakatoi.

Minister Sukhai also took the opportunity to provide some tips on how the residents can protect themselves and reduce the spread of COVID-19. She said, “the Government’s message is for all of the people to be safe; we are asking the Village Councils and the villagers to adhere to the protocols and guidelines. COVID-19 is real and it kills.”

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.