JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has given the assurance that all government relief and reconstruction assistance will be fully transparent, “leaving no room for suspicion.” She was speaking this morning at a presentation function of the first batch of hurricane relief cheques to beneficiaries under the Programme For Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) and NIS pensioners.
“At this time, when people are suffering, we do not need to be distracted by accusations of victimization,” Mrs Simpson Miller told the gathering, adding: this was a time to put the people above selfish individual concerns and above politics, in this season of campaigning.
She also announced that the government will assist the families of the four persons who died as a result of the hurricane “with the funeral expenses of their loved ones”.
The Prime Minister said “there are special groups in the society on whom the impact of the disaster was greatest such as the elderly, our children, persons with disabilities and government had no choice but to respond.”
Overall, some 90,000 families who are beneficiaries under the PATH Programme will receive a one-off payment of $2,000 each, while 80,000 NIS pensioners and elderly will receive a special payment of $5,000. The total cost of the two special hurricane relief benefits package amounting to some $580 million dollars is being financed from the $49 billion National Insurance Fund.
The Prime Minister commended the efforts of all the relief agencies; the staff of the ODPEM; the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Poor Relief Officers and the many voluntary and faith-based organizations and individuals who have been contributing to national recovery effort.

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