Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2020. 10:23 am CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By Rudolph A. Neal: It is almost a month since we have had a most peaceful and democratic transfer of powers in our beloved jewel. Naturally, during a period of transfer and transition, there will be certain inevitable changes and “shake-ups” that are inherently innate to electoral and partisan politics. This is normally routinely necessary to allow the new administration to (quickly) assess pre-existing programs while rolling out their own.
As such, it came as no surprise to me when it was announced that a tiny pause would be placed on the issuance and distribution of the pantry program, and that more so, the program would be renamed “The Grocery Bag” and may possibly be revamped. Well while some frustration were uttered at this, I think by and large (with good reason) the people exercised patience and allowed for the transition to take place.
Now, ever since I started writing columns for this most prestigious paper, I normally write on a wide range or variety of topics that I perceive will evoke something in the mind or hearts of the populace. However, for the first time since then, people actually approached me and asked me to write something on the topic of the social programs that offer assistance to the poor and the needy. Hence, this piece.
Now, in all fairness to the new administration, I fully understand that you took over at one of the most pivotal times in our country’s existence where our troubles numbers many and resources are few and far between. And I fully understand that a period of transitioning and realignment of focus and goals need to be materialized; fine, fine!
However, it has been almost an entire month and the people have not been receiving their routine pantry (or should I say grocery bag) that they so badly need and desperately depend on. I understand fully the allegations of purported corruption that may have taken place in the program in the past, but by and large, the bulk of the pantry was given to the indigent and destitute of this country. The pantry mi di go to di peepl dey weh mi need it di most!
Now, while not having the pantry and the other social assistance programs being rolled out as yet is one thing; bare in mind that Krismus di come! Den ya peepl done wa kant spend wa good Krismus seca di pandemic and di problems di economy di face. So in the face of this daunting phenomenon, at-least let us seek to move fervently and expeditiously to roll out the grocery bags while simultaneously seeking to continue or further the other social assistance to the most needy and vulnerable.
Tis the season of giving, let’s not hold back on or delay the cheer! Let the cheer roll. Because in a time like this, it’s not a matter of political gimmicks or propaganda; it is a matter of urgency – a matter of dire need, maybe even life or death. The people of our country are unemployed and are struggling to make ends meet, roll out the cheer. It mustn’t be delayed any further because more than ever, in these rather crucial and critical times that we are facing, we are merely inching on day to day. So, please, roll out the grocery bags and further the social assistance programs cause di peepl dey really – and I mean, really need dey “Dan – Dan”.
God Bless Belize!
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