Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Octavia Forde (left) and Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, receive the cheque for the Adopt Our Families Programme from ICAB President, Lydia McCollin (second from right) and Executive Director, Kathy-ann Hewitt. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government’s Adopt Our Families programme has received an injection to the tune of $15,000.

President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), Lydia McCollin, and Executive Director, Kathy-ann Hewitt, presented Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, with a “cheque” to assist those vulnerable households which have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation was made today at Government Headquarters.

Mr. Straughn thanked the membership of ICAB for assisting at this challenging time. “As you all know, COVID-19 has created such a large disruption across the economy, that we are thankful for the support, not just of ICAB, but all those Barbadians who have so far donated to the Adopt Our Families programme….

“Government has shored up…that initial $10 million that we had set aside in April to deal specifically with this programme, and ICAB’s donation this morning will help, obviously, to move that needle along a little further. As we go deeper and deeper into the pandemic, we anticipate that there may be more social protection mechanisms which the Government may have to roll out, but we are optimistic that 2021 will bring much different space with respect to the management of the pandemic.”

The Minister said he was very pleased Barbadians were stepping in and assisting each other in a very dignified manner, to ensure persons did not fall through the cracks.  

He noted that initially Government had set a target to assist 1,500 vulnerable families, but by the end of September, 3448 households had been given assistance. Government recently topped up the programme with another $10 million.   

Ms. McCollin explained that during Accountants’ Week, which is observed in November, ICAB usually makes a donation to a charity.  

“We thought with the complications with COVID-19 and people being displaced, or the situations being made worse, we thought that the Government’s Adopt Our Families programme was the ideal thing for us to contribute to this year.”

Executive Director Hewitt said the donation may have been one of the largest to date.  “I think it really shows that members are interested in donating to such a worthy cause, especially to do with families. So, we hope that this goes a long way in assisting those families who are part of the programme,” she stated.

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