Trinidad and Tobago: PNM issued a statement on the announcement of the project, which would benefit Trinidad and Tobago’s citizens who are affected by COVID-19.
Acting Minister of Planning and Development, Senator the Honourable Allyson West, announced the Support for Vulnerable Populations Affected by Coronavirus in Trinidad and Tobago (SUVPAC) Programme.
This agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was signed on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, and was discussed during a bilateral meeting with the IDB’s President, Mr. Mauricio Claver-Carone, on Friday February 26, 2021.
“This agreement will support minimum income for those affected by the coronavirus in the immediate period and during the recovery. The agreement does not see Trinidad and Tobago taking on additional debt but instead redirects existing uncommitted loan resources to new and urgent high priority public investment areas that require financing during this critical period,” stated Minister West.
The program will see US$24.45 million deployed in the urgent execution of Covid-19 management measures geared towards ensuring minimum levels of quality of life for vulnerable persons amid the crisis caused by the pandemic in Trinidad and Tobago.
It will directly benefit vulnerable populations in the form of (1) Protection using existing cash transfer programs and (2) Protection for the vulnerable population not on the rosters of transfer programs, working in the informal sector.
The first component will finance expansion or additional/emergency cash transfers to beneficiaries of three existing programs delivered by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services: (MSDFS):
(i) Food Support Programme (Expansion of benefits under the Food Support Programme includes existing beneficiaries of the program and school-age children registered in the School Nutrition Programme);
(ii) Senior Citizen Pension;
(iii) Disability Assistance Grant.
Component 2 will fund the temporary expansion of the Food Support Programme for households where a member working in the informal sector experienced a loss in income due to the Covid-19 crisis after March 1, 2020.
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