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Apr 14, 2021

Grocery Bag’s Value to be Slashed

The Government of Belize is stretching the three million dollars that the Prime Minister will be allocated in the 2021/2022 budget for the food assistance program. A single grocery bag that was valued at ninety-five dollars in November of last year may be cut down to seventy-five dollars, according to Minister Dolores Balderamos Garcia. The decision is not final, however, and she says her ministry is attempting to find more funds to cover the program up until December of 2021.


Dolores Balderamos Garcia

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development & Families

“First we realize in these very lean times we can’t just yank the food assistance program. We will not be able to have as much, but we do have a three million there that we can start with. And also, we may be able to move some money from other line items in Cap two so that for example we may be able to add in another two hundred and fifty thousand and some more money from Cap three if we are able to access it. But it will depend on the availability of the cash. Now, it will have to be reduced in terms of the clients that we can reach. Because it really cannot be a free for all. And this is one of the difficulties that we have had. I have acknowledged publicly that the vetting process for the B.C.C.A.T. has been flawed. But since it is a World Bank project, we do have to carry it on up to July or August. And after that we will be focusing on the food assistance. And I believe that will be able to take us on to December. Beyond that we cannot speak.   I am hoping, gentlemen and ladies of the media, that by then we will be able to put more of our people to work. Giving out groceries’ yes to our most vulnerable is a good thing, but really when you look at it is unsustainable. So, our goal has to be putting Belizeans back to work.”

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