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Government launches COVID-19 Cash Transfer Program

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Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2020. 2:09 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: A National COVID-19 Cash Transfer Program will support vulnerable households affected by COVID-19.

Supplementary short-term emergency funds to households that have not qualified for other social assistance schemes will be provided to the tune of approximately $150 to $600 per month depending on the household composition. So far, 36,000 beneficiaries have been assessed through the Food Assistance Program for the cash-transfer with priority being placed on poor families with pregnant women, children, the elderly, and persons living with a physical disability.

The program is being run by the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, in partnership with the National Bank of Belize Limited, Digi, and Belize Social Investment Fund and is being funded by the Government of Belize with funds from the World Bank, which has allocated BZ$19 million to provide financial assistance to over 18,000 households during a six-month period.

The application will be open to the public from December 15 to 23, 2020, for families who meet the eligibility requirement and did not apply in the first instance. Households that apply will be required to participate in a poverty assessment and must meet the program’s eligibility criteria in order to benefit. Countrywide screening and enrolment into the program are being conducted in eight phases.

The program beneficiaries will be notified of their successful application and payment dates using MobilePayz, a new mobile payment solution developed by Digi. The application will allow beneficiaries to cash out their funds using their mobile phones. Beneficiaries will be notified of their payment amount, when and where to collect via bi-monthly text messages.

For further information on the program, applicants can call the Ministry’s hotline 0-800-MHD-HELP or 0-800-CALL-MHD during normal working hours (Monday to Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or visit humandevelopment.gov.bz/bccat.

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