(BVI PLATINUM) – The government has announced that some 855 persons have been approved to receive cash, under the Financial Assistance Programme. The programme aims to help vulnerable households affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The beneficiaries are set to receive payments of between $800 and $1,200 per month, for up to three months, depending on the household circumstances.
The government said, “A total of 1776 households registered from October 18 to 28 and were ranked based on factors such as household income, housing damage and post-hurricane living situation. Priority was given to larger households; single-parent families; households with persons with disabilities or severe health issues; families with children under five and persons over the age of 65 with no support.”
The initiative is part of the Household Assistance Programme announced in October by Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton, following a Rapid Household Needs Assessment after both storms hit.
It is being implemented by the BVI Red Cross and Caritas Antilles, with financial support from UKAID, British Red Cross, Caritas Antilles and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).
Director of the BVI Red Cross, Helen Frett explained that cash-based assistance is a common practice in emergency operations around the world.
“Providing financial assistance gives families the opportunity to meet the unique needs of their households; they can buy what is best for them and is most urgently needed. Every level of the economy can benefit from such assistance,” she said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Petrona Davies said she is pleased that the programme is at the stage where the first payments have been processed to relieve the financial burden on families, especially during this time of the year.
The government said it is aiming to assist some 1,050 under the program.