Government has proposed the allocation of $120 million to safeguard the rights of persons living with disabilities and to ensure they have access to support and services that would enable them to enjoy quality lives and contribute to nation-building.
Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh made this announcement on Friday, in his presentation of Budget 2021 in the National Assembly.
The Minister also said $50 million would be allocated to the National Commission on Disability, even as the Government increases resource allocations to the Disability and Rehabilitation Services within the Ministry of Health.
The Government also plans to build a $30 million complex at Mahaica, that will provide vocational training for persons with disabilities.
Minister Singh also announced that in 2021, the Persons with Disability Act (2010) would be reviewed and amended.
“We will continue to deliver key services to this vulnerable group, who are at risk of being discriminated against,” Minister Singh said.
The Administration is also concerned about the incidence of domestic violence and its impact on victims and their families.
To this end, there will be a significant increase in the subvention to the organisations providing support to victims of domestic violence, including Help and Shelter, which will benefit from over $50 million this year.
Additionally, the Government will establish a court superintendent department with a cadre of lawyers to lead prosecutions in each regional division for cases of domestic violence. A Survivors Advocates Programme will also be implemented to offer emotional support and crisis counselling to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, the Government’s attention to the welfare of senior citizens has been heightened especially now, in light of their vulnerability to COVID-19. This year, through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, major emphasis will be placed on improving services to senior citizens.