NATION

Govt Initiates $19m Welfare Payouts

More than 40,000 people under the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation welfare schemes will benefit from the $19.9million payout from Government by the end of next week. The
09 Mar 2016 13:26
Govt Initiates $19m Welfare Payouts
Welfare Payouts

More than 40,000 people under the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation welfare schemes will benefit from the $19.9million payout from Government by the end of next week.

The Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, made this announcement at his office in Suva yesterday.

He said it was an initiative by Government for those who were currently receiving assistance through the ministry and were also affected during Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“Government, approved by the Prime Minister, has taken the initiative for the next three months; where people currently receiving benefits will get a top-up on the benefits that they receive.

“Just to put it into perspective there are currently 43,624 households that will receive the benefit; in the first category there are 23,035 homes that have been registered below the poverty line.

“We then have the care and protection scheme of 3257 families covering children looked after by single parents, grandparents or guardians,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the third category consists of people over the age of 68 that received $50 and are not getting a pension from the Fiji National Provident Fund.

The A-G announced that the lump sum payment to people or households in these categories totalling $13.8m will be made next Friday.

He said this together with other welfare payments including pensioners and care and protection allowance totalling $19.9million will be paid next Friday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was critical that these people are looked after; those below the poverty line, pensioners and those families who are looking after children because the reality was most homes in Fiji had been hit by the cyclone.

“They do need the assistance; this type of guided assistance to individuals and families will be a great benefit to them; obviously some of them had been devastated by the cyclone

“We ask people to use this money wisely; this is given to you and your families to use in the right manner; to be used on basic necessities,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they are a leg-up so that they are not left behind; we had seen some abuse in the assistance by non-government organisations in cyclone-hit areas.

“Also some of them have received Government rations and are selling it to shops; we have seen some packages ending up on shop shelves around the Western Division.

“The other aspect as well is that Government has decided to give it across the board,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar said it was a targeted assistance to those vulnerable groups in our communities that fall under the social protection programmes and poverty benefit schemes.

“We will be making releases to the media as to how the money will be distributed,” she said.

 

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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