21,000 Beneficiaries Receive Hurricane Cheques


The Labour and Social Security Ministry is reporting that to date, some 21,000 beneficiaries have received cheques under the government’s recovery programme for persons whose houses were damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September.
This group is the first of the 150,000 households assessed and approved for the benefits amounting to some $191.9 million.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Horace Dalley told the House on December 7, that the allocation would continue throughout the rest of the month, and that beneficiaries would be advised accordingly.
Addressing questions raised by the Opposition, Minister Dalley assured that the assessment process would not be extended. Exceptions would however, be made for persons whose homes were totally destroyed, and who did not benefit from the assessment and as a consequence have been left out of the relief process.
Minister Dalley said the assessment exercise revealed that the most damage to homes were recorded in the parishes of Clarendon and St. Elizabeth, accounting for over 20,000 affected units. Meanwhile, more than 10,000 households in St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew, Westmoreland and Manchester were assessed as suffering damage to homes and effects.
He pointed out that for the 7,209 beneficiaries across the island whose homes were entirely destroyed, cheques valued at $20,000 would be given to each, a total of $144 million. For the 20,428 severely damaged block and steel houses, $7,500 would be given to individual households, a total of $153.2 million.
In the meantime, the allotment to householders in the group of 47,697 severely damaged homes would be $10,000 each, a total of $477 million.
Minister Dalley said for the 73,330 persons who suffered minor damage to their homes or household effects, cheques of $5,000 each would be rewarded, a total cost of $366.6 million.
He reassured that although some persons were not listed in the correct constituency, based on their postal addresses, this would not pose a difficulty for them to receive their benefits.

JIS Social