The People’s Progressive Party / Civic (PPP/C) administration is poised to use a portion of a US$30.4M loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to ease some of the financial pressures facing vulnerable persons amid the COVID-19 crisis. Guyana Standard understands that pensioners for example, would be able to receive an additional $20,500 coupon.
The Old Age Pension Service is the largest social programme in Guyana, with 59,000 beneficiaries and a budget that amounts to 1.74% of Gross Domestic Product. Guyanese over the age of 65 who live in Guyana are able to benefit from a payment of GY$20,500 which is distributed on a monthly basis in the form of booklets of twelve coupons. Beneficiaries, or their authorized representatives, can cash up to three coupons at any one time at the Post Offices. For this service, an agency fee of 2% is paid to the Guyana Post Office Corporation. In the riverine and hinterland areas, where there is no Post Office, a designated representative from the community can cash-out the coupons.
Using US$14.85M from the loan, Guyana Standard understands that the government will be able to provide the additional coupon as well as support enrollment of new beneficiaries if need be.
To allow for the efficient and transparent execution of the cash transfer programs, the IDB noted that this component of the project will finance the creation of a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit within the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security (MHSSS) and the related information systems, including both software and hardware.