Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places, Social Issues » Update on Unemployment Relief Programme
Sep 28, 2020

Update on Unemployment Relief Programme

Less than fifty percent of the persons who applied under Phase Two of the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Programme have been approved.  The government received sixty-four thousand two hundred and fifty two applications out of which thirty thousand five hundred and forty-four were approved.  Thirteen thousand persons have been rejected, while more than three thousand applicants were asked to make corrections.  According to the government, Phase Two of the Unemployment Relief was intended to cover the three-month period August to October.  It says that all efforts are being made to ensure that all six payments are processed for all approved applicants by the end of October.  But Lake Independence Area Representative Cordel Hyde says that the process is sluggish as thousands of families are still waiting for the assistance promised by the government.


Cordel Hyde

Cordel Hyde, Area Rep., Lake Independence

“That programme started on August 3rd. Today is September twenty fifth. If my maths is correct it’s fifty three days. Seven weeks and four days. That is thirty one thousand people are waiting to hear whether they’ve gotten approval, whether they could go pick up the one-fifty or however it is being paid because only thirty thousand  people out of the sixty two thousand people have been accounted for. I know a lot of those people go to the ATM every day to check if that eagle land and when you go in there and a zero balance or whatever you have to sheepishly walk out of the ATM because there are people watching you. It’s real, because you go and check religiously every other day to see if that money is there. It’s not there. It has not been there for those thirty-one thousand people. And I feel like the government can be rather efficient in writing off land taxes for the big people, can be rather efficient when they want to set up this national gas company, but can be rather inefficient when it comes to ensuring that the little people get what they should get. We are talking about thirty thousand people where in a lot of cases are legitimate persons who have lost their jobs from March of this year. Who did not get anything in the first round of relief because if we can recall out of those eighty thousand persons who applied only half of the got any money. So they didn’t get in the first round and in the second round they took their time and made sure that they dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s in the application. And they still haven’t heard anything. So it is all well and good who have gotten the relief. We applaud that. I don’t know about the eleven thousand people who have been rejected. We will accept your word for it but thirty-thousand people are waiting to get theirs.”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We are moving far more quickly. On just check, on Independence day we had paid out twenty, it is now twenty-five thousand plus in a few days. So we are moving far more quickly and your numbers are wrong. It is not some sixty add thousand that are to be in fact processed and approved in terms of phase two. I say this not to quarrel, just to set the facts straight. We’d already said remember that in phase one you had something like ten thousand persons that are the long term unemployed, this was to have been a quick reaction intervention to relief people who lost their jobs in consequence of Covid-19. The Leader of the Opposition when he was part of the Oversight Committee pushed for us to bring in as well longer term unemployed and we did so. They are not a part of phase two and that’s why the numbers of those that are to benefit from phase two are going down, but we are not leaving them out in the cold. The longer term unemployed will now become beneficiaries, recipients of the boost two point zero program, the Belize Covid-19 response. That is what the World Bank is funding. World Bank is giving nothing for the food program, giving nothing for the unemployment relief program, but it is putting up this thirteen million US dollars that we will used to put as I said the longer term unemployed on the Belize Covid-19 Response conditional cash transfer program. That’s what boost is.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed