The United Democratic Party (UDP) has expressed concern on the path that the Ministry of Human Development is taking the Food assistance Program. The release from the Opposition indicated that a drastic decrease in the number of families that will receive and the possible discontinuation of the program very alarming. According to their release, the Food Assistance Program was implemented by the past UDP administration as a part of its multifaceted response to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on Belizean families. Through a loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), 40,000 families were assisted with up to 6 food baskets between March and November 2020 in accordance with the loan agreement with OFID. Furthermore, the basket of goods under the existing Pantry Program was scaled up in line with the FAP food basket. Additionally, the 4,000 families on the Pantry Program were no longer required to pay subsidized costs for the baskets, as it was recognized that many of these working poor families had lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic. The release went ahead to state that the BCCAT program that was negotiated with the World Bank by the past UDP administration and designed as another tool to provide medium-term assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable families impacted by the pandemic has not begun. Secondly, the merging of the Food Assistance Program that was designed as a temporary COVID 19 relief measure with the Pantry Program. The Pantry Program is an important part of the larger social safety net framework that supports poor and vulnerable families beyond the pandemic. The UDP now calls on the government to find strategic ways to ensure that all needy families continue to receive this basic food support until they are able to stabilize from the effects of the pandemic.
The United Democratic Party (UDP) has expressed concern on the path that the Ministry of Human Development is taking the Food assistance Program.