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Some 3,700 families in the Volcano Red and Orange Zones will receive an average of $3,000 each over the duration of the project, under the five-year US$44 million Volcanic Eruption Emergency Project (VEEP).

“Obviously, it can’t keep them, by itself, afloat. But it’s a significant contribution to the lives and livelihoods of people,” Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves told Thursday’s launch of VEEP, in Kingstown.

He said that initially, $11.5 million was budgeted for the programme, but it may end up being closer to $12 million.

“And this has never been done before in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in terms of support to families,” the finance minister said.

“It’s magnificent. It’s revolutionary. It’s holding people together. And it’s going to be transformative going forward. Because now there is a policy by which regular social assistance programmes can be implemented in a similar manner.”

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He noted that the payments will be made via cash transfer to the recipient’s accounts at Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The recipients have been issued with debit cards, through which they can access their accounts.

The finance minister said that the use of debit cards addresses the security challenge in paying cash to a large number of people.

It also eliminates the embarrassment that some people feel having to line up to receive public hand-outs.  

“So now, seamlessly, people get the support — and the support is based on a variety of factors,” he said, mentioning means tests and family size.

He said that the money automatically remitted to the recipient’s account.

“And then they can go at their convenience, and withdraw $50, $100, $500, $600, depending on what it is and use that money to address the needs that they have,” Gonsalves said.

“… this August, in a couple of days, close to 3,700 families are going to be getting $2.2 million worth of income support on their debit cards. And I want to thank everyone involved for participating in that,” the minister said.

VEEP aims to support St. Vincent and the Grenadines to provide short-term income support, improve the capacity of the government to prepare for and respond to emergencies, and build back better critical services in the aftermath of the La Soufriere volcano eruptions.

It targets the communities mainly affected by the La Soufriere volcanic eruptions, especially in the northern part of the island in the Red, Orange and Yellow Volcanic Hazard Zones.

It is financed by a US$42 million soft loan from the World Bank and a US$2 million grant from the European Union.

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9 Comments

  1. Buying their way into dictatorship at the people’s expence. It will be taxpayers who will have to pay back the loans used for the spending sprees the ULP regime is on. Remember there is no such thing as a free meal. Politicians will kiss you before they f you.

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  2. Duke DeArment says:

    Build back better? Isn’t that a phrase from the WEF as well as president Brandon?
    Why is it called a “soft” load? Does that imply it does not hurt when we get hit with having to pay it back?
    Can’t the government instead craft policy whereby the private sector is encouraged to invest in “soft,” low- pollution, sustainable industries that provide jobs, so that people can better take care of themselves instead of tax-payers continually having to do so?

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  3. Urlan Alexander says:

    Which other volcanic eruption could this have happened. Some politicians should just shut up. Historical in what context of a volcano eruption in svg?

    Reply

  4. Jeanie OIlivierre says:

    Hope critetia for benefiting is adhered to & that NO ONE is marginalised because of POLITICS as
    neither class, colour, religion, family status or political affiliation is important in this exercise.

    Reply

  5. So those in the green zone wasn’t affect and had to help those in the said red zone recovered from this volcanic eruption but there’s no blessing or help for us what a great nation all now red zone people still in the green zone who decided they not going back to the red zone cause they afraid the volcano will erupt again

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  6. And why is it alot of ppl in d red zone who are assumed to b yellow r met with rejection from d red persons put in charge of getting names from those communities on d list for financial benefits. Especally oweya. The assumed yellows are not given d same treatment as d knowingly red

    Reply

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