In recent developments, Azilla Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, and Minister Hon. Isalean Phillip have brought attention to the issue of poverty alleviation programs in the country. It has come to light that the dismantling of the poverty alleviation program (PAP) has had significant repercussions, with over 40% of eligible citizens or applicants, totaling 3,685 individuals, not benefiting from the program.
As of June 2023, Azilla Clarke reported that out of 11,639 applications received for the cash assistance program, only 8,985 were considered eligible. This reduction in the number of beneficiaries, now totaling 5,361, has led to adverse effects on both individuals and the overall economy. The decision to exclude these eligible citizens has led to a slower economy, as the program played a crucial role in supporting those in need.
Minister Hon. Isalean Phillip acknowledged the strain on resources and the challenge of allocating them effectively. While there has been an overspending of the budgeted allotment, the government faces limitations in terms of resource distribution. As a result, many eligible applicants are left waiting for support that might not be forthcoming.
The situation not only impacts the affected individuals directly but also casts a shadow over the nation’s economic recovery efforts. This case highlights the delicate balance between resource allocation and the pressing need to address poverty within the country. As officials grapple with finding the right approach, it remains crucial to strike a balance that supports both citizens and the broader economy effectively.