(Antigua Observer) The head of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), Philmore Mullin, is providing more information about the structure of a Canadian-funded beneficiary programme following a series of complaints from some Barbudans.
The Canadian High Commission in Barbados has made available CAD $50,000 to the government of Antigua and Barbuda. The fund is to be distributed to Barbudan families consisting of single-parents, the elderly, unemployed individuals and people with special needs.
However, Mullin stated yesterday that some residents are making a fuss because they are unable to access the programme which was launched a week ago.
“Even though we put it on the media that not everyone will benefit, there are some people who feel that their names should be on the list. The programme is opened to vulnerable Barbudans and in some cases those who did not benefit from a similar programme earlier this year,” Mullin said
He further explained that beneficiaries were chosen from a list that was created shortly after the passage of Hurricane Irma.
“In some cases, those distributing the vouchers were given the prerogative to look on the master list and if, based on their knowledge of the situation, one person is more vulnerable than the next then they are free to make that decision,” Mullin said.
Mullin added that consultations were also held with people who are on the ground in Barbuda.
The vouchers are given in denominations of $200, $300 and $500 for the purchase of food and other supplies from two supermarkets in Antigua and one in Barbuda.
Individuals are asked to contact NODS at 462-4206 to find out whether their names are on the list of beneficiaries. This current programme will expire at the end of the month.