With applications for the COVID-19 Response: Social Cash Transfers Assistance now open, Minister for Youth Development and Empowerment, Dr. Adis King has sought to inform the general public of the objective of the programme.
Dr. Adis King says one of the vital components of the programme is the support to low-income communities and vulnerable individuals.
The Social Cash Transfer Programme is also designed to implement building on Dominica’s main assistance programme.
“But some of the objectives would be of course to improve the well-being of our vulnerable households, especially those who were impacted by the Covid-19.”
“It will also help us in alleviating some of the poverty, helping people get better access to health as well as education and we’ll also be able to mitigate the negative socio-economic impact that Covid-19 has had on the vulnerable families and individuals among us. Most of these impacts were due to shut down, curfew, loss of jobs, loss of income, maybe even reduction of income, so this money will surely go a long way in improving the lives,” King explained.
The programme is implemented by the Ministry of Youth Development and Empowerment, Youth at Risk, Gender Affairs, Seniors Security and Dominicans with Disabilities with the support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and funding from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
“During the onset of Covid-19 back in March, CARICOM decided to launch a survey on food security and livelihoods among CARICOM countries and this was conducted by the World Food Programme. And Dominica participated, I think we had about 500 households participating in that survey and we found out that there was severe impacts on the livelihoods of our citizens so because of that some of the results of the survey that was brought to our attention was the fact that because of restrictive movement of people, then the homes were left vulnerable, even more, vulnerable than before, many people lost their jobs, many peoples incomes decreased especially those who were involved in casual labor, the self-employed, people who were just doing cottage industry,” the Minister said.
She added, “The government of Dominica through the ministry of planning and my ministry, the ministry mainly responsible for vulnerable people, the youth, the elderly, the people with disability, we decided to put together a concept note to justify a project where we would help our people and we could implement this mechanism and we were greatly supported by the World Food Programme and also we had the programme being funded by UK Aid.”
The Cash Transfer Programme was administered in a way to assist people who are known to have been impacted by COVID-19, to benefit from such a program.
There are three ways in which applicants can apply: on-site registration, on the phone, or through an online application form.
Once a person’s application is accepted, they will receive two top-ups of XCD 225 for a period of two months for a total value of XCD 450.