Frontline workers, vulnerable women to receive COVID-19 relief

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Guyana’s frontline workers have been valiantly reporting for duties and risking their health to keep the nation safe. In recognition of their brave efforts, these workers will be provided with critical support from Government. This is according to Human Services and Social Security Minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud, who made this revelation on Monday during a virtual press conference.

The Government, through the Child Care Assistance programme, will be providing care packages to various categories of essential workers, including healthcare workers, police officers, fire officers, prison officers, security officers and members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

“Another vulnerable population that is very close to my heart and this Ministry works with is children. And our Child Care Assistance programme will be rolled out very soon. It will provide packages for essential workers,” Dr Persaud said.

“I really want to thank those workers who are going out every day under very challenging circumstances and risking their lives, delivering service to all of us across Guyana. This initiative will be opened to frontline workers in both private and public sectors where direct payments will be made to childcare facilities.”

She, however, pointed out that there will be a number of criteria to meet, among them being children below the age of seven, and direct payments will only be made to licensed childcare facilities. “This is a project that we will pilot and before the end of the year or very early next year we will look at how we can expand it.”

Dr Persaud disclosed that the assistance for essential workers will be available within the first quarter of 2021.

Persons can access the programme through forms that will be dispatched to their respective employers. The forms will also be available via the Ministry’s website. In the meantime, the Ministry, through its various partners, will continue to provide assistance to women who are victims of gender-based violence.

“There is no infinite number of hampers, but we will try to reach out to as many women based on the information we have at the Ministry and with other partner women organisations. We do have women that need that help right now,” the Minister added.

The Ministry will continue working closely with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to assist those in need.