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June 11 - Summary Report of Unemployment Relief Program. Final-2

Summary Update on the Relief Program

Up to the end of May, a total of $15.8 million including approximately $133,000 in bank charges were paid out to persons in the Unemployment Relief Programme. The Government of Belize issued an update on the unemployment relief programme stating that up to June 5, a total of 44,552 applications have been approved by the Economic Oversight Team.

Up to the end of May, a total of $15.8 million including approximately $133,000 in bank charges were paid out to persons in the Unemployment Relief Programme. The Government of Belize issued an update on the unemployment relief programme stating that up to June 5, a total of 44,552 applications have been approved by the Economic Oversight Team. 45% of those were recently laid off persons; 24% were self-employed persons who lost their work; and 31% applied as long-term unemployed persons. Approximately 4750 vendors have been approved including vendors of tacos and other food, art and craft, clothes vendors.The report indicated that about 94% of all approved applications have been successfully paid. If all remaining applications were to be approved, the total costs would approximate $66 million to pay every applicant for a 3-month period. 34,400 or so application were not approved and included approximately 4,200 “recently unemployed” applicants who provided no employer information; 9,300 self-employed/independent contractors who face no information on the nature of their work; an additional 1,800 self-employed/independent contractors who say they are vendors but gave no further information; and 9,000 long-term unemployed who had no information on employment to provide.  According to the Government, if the decision to extend the program is taken, it would require greater institutional formality, including locating it within a relevant government ministry; and considering whether the temporary arrangement for SSB to function as the single paying agent should continue.