Government has made provision to continue the Adopt Our Families Programme in the next financial year, which begins in April.
This disclosure came today from Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, during a “cheque” presentation at the Barbados Defence Force, by acting British High Commissioner, Craig Fulton, and Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Geoffrey Roach.
The British High Commission (BHC) donated £60,000 to the programme, while BHTA gave BDS $20,000.
Mr. Straughn said over 4,000 vulnerable households had benefited from the programme. He continued: “The Government has been able to put in…over $20 million. We have received, so far, just under $10 million in donations from corporate Barbados and individuals.
“We will continue to work to ensure that families in this country can … stay afloat, until we can see the resumption of travel, and some level of normality coming back to the economy…. As I have always indicated, the Government’s social protection mechanism will continue to be strong and [there will be] provision, for as long as is required, to ensure that no Barbadian will be left behind.”
While thanking the BHC and the BHTA, the Minister said the funds would deliver needed relief to Barbadians. He added that the BHTA, like other members of corporate Barbados, had stepped forward last year and made contributions to the operations of the Harrison Point Isolation Facility.
Acting British High Commissioner Fulton said Britain was very grateful for Government’s efforts last year, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in helping to repatriate its citizens.
He stated: “When your Prime Minister announced the Adopt Our Families Programme, it was of particular interest to us at the High Commission and so I am very pleased that we were able to partner with you and provide funding….
“And as you say, it has reached a large number of families in Barbados and helped make sure there was …that little bit of extra support to help them through the most difficult days of the pandemic, as we all work together to try and get there,” Mr. Fulton added.
Chairman Roach of the BHTA said the organisation strongly believed in practising good corporate citizenship and encouraged members to do the same.
“This presentation to the Adopt Our Families Programme, I believe, was not a decision that we had to ponder very lengthily on… We thought clearly that this is something that needed to be done. It’s not the first donation that the Association has made to the efforts to help support the people of Barbados during this time….
“We have certainly made donations to help support the establishment of the facility at Harrison Point. We have also encouraged our members, wherever possible, to continue to make donations themselves, despite the hardship that they are going through, and particularly so in supporting their teams, because at the end of the day, we know that tourism is about people supporting people,” he pointed out.
Mr. Roach gave the assurance that going forward, the Association would continue to support efforts to see the country through this difficult period.