Black Immigrant Daily News
Between 15,000 to 30,000 persons will receive food hampers from the World Food Programme (WFP) over the next two weeks.
This equates to just over 5,000 vulnerable families with up to six persons or more in some cases.
The majority of names came from the Welfare list
Working in conjunction with the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, the WFP is providing food hampers to some of the most vulnerable households in Barbados impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation which has raised the cost of living.
This was revealed during a press briefing with Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, and Representative for the Caribbean Multi-Country Office of the WFP, Regis Chapman, at the Ministry’s Warrens Office Complex on Friday.
Minister Humphrey stressed the donation was not a Christmas hamper given by the Government of Barbados to people, but food items that were purchased by the WFP and prepositioned ahead of the hurricane season.
“The role of the Ministry was just to provide the personnel names to be able to allow them to reach the persons who need support the most. So, we took a look at our most vulnerable list. The majority of names came from the Welfare list, and would therefore be legitimate persons who are in need,” he said.
The Minister made it clear this was not a case where persons could call the Ministry and be added to the list. “This…is meant to support those families during a very challenging time in Barbados. So, we are extremely grateful to the World Food Programme,” he stated.
The foodstuff was purchased in Barbados
Meanwhile, Chapman explained that the WFP sought to support the 22 countries it covered in a multi-hazard environment with easy access to food items. He added that a decision was made to pre-purchase a limited amount of food kits to be able to quickly dispatch from Barbados to impacted populations.
However, he noted that there were no significant impacts in the Caribbean this year, and a decision was taken to support the Government and People of Barbados where its office is hosted, to re-condition the food items purchased into food hampers for vulnerable populations.
“There has been a lot of coordination with the Ministry of People Empowerment. They have helped us to identify vulnerable households,” Chapman said.
Adding that the intention was to “ease the burden of the households,” he said, the cost of living for some was becoming more difficult.
Funding for the purchase, transport and distribution of the food items was provided by Germany to the value of BBD $1,072,406.22 or EUR500,000. The foodstuff was purchased in Barbados and includes items such as rice, pasta, oats, peas, tuna, sardines, corn beef and mixed vegetables.
WFP trucks are expected to deliver the food items to vulnerable families in the coming weeks to provide support at Christmas and into the New Year.