A more ‘comprehensive package’ to replace the Public Assistance programme is soon to be instituted by the APNU+AFC Coalition Government which would see thousands of Guyanese benefitting.
This is according to Social Protection Minister, Volda Lawrence who made the announcement to staff members of the Probation and Social Services Department in her ministry.
She explained that $6,500 is given as public assistance to about 9,000 perennially ailing, destitute, differently-abled Guyanese inclusive of children under the age of 14, and that this “must be eliminated and replaced with a more robust programme” to empower the entire family to reduce poverty.
According to a media release from the Social Protection Ministry, the Government is “unhappy with the nation’s deepening dependency” on Public Assistance and will be moving towards transforming the current financial assistance package to include skills training, opportunities to secure jobs, micro credit, provision of equipment to start their own businesses and other forms of assistance, “instead of just financial support.”
Lawrence told Wednesday’s First Quarter staff meeting that Guyana is hoping to introduce the conditional cash transfer system that Brazil has been using for 50 years and which has been replicated in several Latin American and Caribbean countries.
“As Probation and Social Services Officers, you will have to conduct an investigation on the entire family, analyse the case and make recommendations on the needs of that family and how the Ministry could meet those needs, which may differ from the specific request of the family,” Lawrence said.