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It is disheartening and heart-wrenching when as an elected public official as members of my community who are unable to help themselves come to the office of the Regional Chairman the people’s office with complaints of;
• being unable to access their child support cheques at the Court because the staff is on vacation.
• Or they are waiting on a response in June from the social welfare department on whether their application since January for public assistance is approved.
• old-age pensioners in the Berbice River who are unable to receive their pension monthly and I can go on.
What is very concerning of those most serious matters is that those in authority with the ability to positively affect these concerns seem unmoved that these are human beings like you and me who are just unable to help themselves looking to us for subsistence that they can meet their basic human right for shelter, food, clothing and an education. As a people, we must find our humanity and do better to help the less fortunate.
At this time I wish to quote from the Ministry of Human Services & Social Security Website the definition of the Government of Guyana Social Assistance Programmes;
These programmes provide psychological, social, financial and other material assistance as well as regulatory services for senior citizens, the infirm, the indigent and destitute to improve their status and implement their abilities to cope with the stress of living. These include;
• PUBLIC ASSISTANCE
• OLD AGE PENSION
• DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES
Public Assistance is a temporary financial assistance designed to assist the infirm, aged, special needs children, orphans, persons affected by HIV and all other persons who cannot adequately maintain their households. The programme is subjected to periodic reviews to ensure eligibility.
Applicants are interviewed by the officers after which the duly constituted Local Board of Guardians of the district will deliberate and decide to whom and how much to be given. Do not allow three (3) months to elapse without uplifting payment for Public Assistance from your District Post Office.
I made that statement to make this point to the Minister of Human Services & Social Security that welfare services that are available but not accessible are useless to the intended beneficiaries.
I also wish to highlight the term duly constituted Local Board of Guardians of the district and I ask this question who are the faces of the Board for this district, Region 10 and who are they accountable to?
#Between 2015-2020 – Over 800 persons in Region #10 benefited from Public Assistance monthly without Oil.