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Jul 7, 2020

Prolonged Pantry and Unemployment Relief is Unsustainable

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

While government’s relief initiatives, including the pantry and unemployment relief programmes, have gone a long way in helping families in need amid these COVID times, the granting of monies, as well as the provision of food over an extended period is unsustainable.  Elrington also weighs in on the existing foreign exchange crunch.


Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Area Representative, Pickstock

“The government has programmes where they are giving some food and theyre giving some cash, but in my view, unless done very, very strategically the cash is going to run out and run out very quickly and we will have no way to replace it.  I think the food can in fact last much, much longer and if in fact we use it strategically it will help us to strengthen our food chain because, for example, if we were to buy all the food that is being produced now, the fish that the fishermen bring in, the agricultural produce that the agriculturalists produce, cattle and everything like that, if we were able to buy it as a government and make it available to the people either on grant for those who can’t afford at all or at a concessionary rate for those who can afford to pay for it, I think we can survive for a very long time with food.  The foreign exchange is something else, the cash is something else because we are very limited in our capacity to generate cash.  But I, think, once people are well fed and they are secure in their homes, I think you can get away with for a prolonged period of time.  It’s when people are hungry and starving that I think you’d have social unrest.  I think all these things are going to come up on us and they are going to come up on us fast.”

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