WITH $2.6 billion expected to be spent on providing vulnerable groups with much- needed assistance, members of the public are welcoming the endowment.
On Monday, President Irfaan Ali announced that some 6,500 elderly persons will benefit from a $25,000 one-off cash grant. Additionally, a similar grant also valued at $25,000 will be distributed to all recipients of public assistance, and persons living with disabilities.
President Ali also announced that an electricity credit will be paid to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) on behalf of all households consuming not more than 75 kilowatt hours of electricity per month. The credit to each household will be equivalent to one month of their electricity bill, and will inject more than $200 million of disposable income into more than 40,000 households.
Lauding the financial relief as a great initiative, one elderly vendor who identified herself as Lynette told the Guyana Chronicle, “The money couldn’t come at a better time.”
The woman noted that she has been trying her best to make ends meet, since she recently fell ill, and had to spend her savings and little earnings on her medical expenses. Lynette further disclosed that she has several outstanding medical bills to pay, and though not much, the $25,000 grant will be used to pay off some of her debts. Another vendor, who gave her name as “Muslim”, commended the government for the initiative to assist citizens belonging to vulnerable groups.
The woman said: “It’s a real a good idea you know; it’s really nice. Anything that helping people out we gon welcome, especially them elderly people.”
Meanwhile, a young woman, who identified herself as Odessa, posited that the grants should be an annual or monthly incentive to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities. The young woman added that the initiative is welcomed, since many elderly and persons with disabilities cannot fend for themselves without assistance.
Also lauding the initiative was Ganesh Singh, the Project Coordinator for the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD). He commended the government, and hailed the initiative as timely. He also highlighted the benefit of the one-month subsidy on electricity, which, he said, will benefit those persons with disabilities who are required to pay electricity charges.
“We are very pleased; we are very appreciative of the efforts of the government to provide financial relief for the community of persons with disabilities,” Singh said, and further noted that many persons living with disabilities did not qualified for the recent COVID-19 cash grant.
“Because they are not the head of their households, and although a lot of them take care of their own responsibilities, they did not benefit,” he said. “So now we are happy that this can be done, so that they can be beneficiaries.”