Thousands apply for social services assistance

Minister of Social Services Frankie Campbell said yesterday more than 3,000 people have applied for social services assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The department, Mr. Speaker, has been charged with providing special food assistance to those persons who — as a result of the closure of the tourism sector — found themselves on reduced workweeks,” Campbell said in the House of Assembly.

“This, for us, is uncharted territory. We, initially, established an email address asking persons to email us, so that they can get the subsistence, in light of the fact that we were, while wanting to assist, found it necessary to promote physical distancing.

“Within a week, up to Saturday past, we had more than 3,000 persons throughout The Bahamas apply to that email address.”

Campbell added, “[I] am advised, and I know that my team is listening and will not make a liar out of me, that as early as this Wednesday, coupons will be ready and persons will be contacted and advised how they can collect those coupons or how the coupons may be delivered to them.”

Thousands of people across The Bahamas have been laid off due to the economic fallout sparked by the COVID-19 crisis.

Major resorts, like Atlantis and Baha Mar, temporarily suspended operations as the tourism industry came to a standstill.

This has led more citizens and residents to become dependent on assistance from the Department of Social Services.

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