Disabled included in hundreds for cost of living assistance
Some 200 families with disabilities have been added to the 1,000 vulnerable households that will receive assistance under a government-led initiative to cope with the rising cost of living.
On Friday, Individual Empowerment and Elder Affairs Minister Kirk Humphrey revealed it would cost some $30 million a year to run what he said was a comprehensive assistance package.
Speaking on the Down to the brass thumbtacks appeal program today, Humphrey said the government will not only rely on Barbadians at home to reach out to the less fortunate in their communities, but will target nationals abroad and other agencies to lend strong hand.
“We are going to make new calls to the diaspora at large, we are going to make calls to international agencies.
“To start this program, we are using funds that we have received – this is called budget support – from international agencies who have given us about 8 million dollars which allows us to do this program. We are budgeting a big part of that. We think Barbadians will come forward and help other Barbadians and help us save costs,” he said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced the initiative which she said would connect Barbadians with families in need of help.
Since then, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Union of Public Workers have given their full support to the plan.
Humphrey assured that people who need real assistance would get it and that the selection process was flawless and transparent.
“We went through the various social services and got the names of some of the families who have been on welfare for three generations. We got names from community groups, we will contact churches to get more names,” he said.
Minister Humphrey added that the program would not just provide money, but would focus on improving the general conditions of vulnerable families.
This, he said, would include help with housing and job opportunities.
“So it’s a holistic approach, it’s not a case where a thousand families are just going to get money and we’re not working with the family. It’s a comprehensive, holistic program,” Humphrey pointed out.
“And on top of that, we then added 200 families with disabilities, so it will be 1,000 of the most vulnerable plus 200 families with disabilities, because people with disabilities are often excluded from this conversation.”