PATH disburses $5.3 billion in 2018/19

Friday, July 12, 2019

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DURING the 2018/2019 financial year, the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) disbursed $5.3 billion to more than 130,000 families or 340,000 beneficiaries.

This was disclosed by Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson during her contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives this week.

She also announced that since June 2019, PATH benefit levels were increased by an average of 17 per cent, and in September 2018, the ministry introduced the PATH back-to-school grant for each child registered in school.

“This grant will continue with over $500 million projected to be spent in the 2019/20 financial year. As promised last year, we will facilitate direct electronic transfers of benefit payments, commencing with the August 2019 payment,” Robinson said.

She noted that this will represent a saving on both sides as well as being more discreet and convenient for the families.

Meanwhile, under the Steps to Work Programme, the ministry continues to support the entrepreneurial activities of PATH clients, in order to provide a platform for families to move towards economic independence.

Robinson said for this financial year, Steps to Work will target 800 PATH households to benefit from upskilling initiatives, and another 600 for on-the-job training.

Additionally, under this programme, a further 1,100 PATH clients will receive financial support to establish micro businesses.

“Our aim is to ultimately remove these persons from the programme who no longer qualify for benefits. The on-the-job training is intended to ensure their financial and social stability. If you don't put them in this position of independence, then they will again become dependent on the State for social protection,” the minister said.

PATH, in its continued commitment to improving the quality of life for its clients, also hosted sessions on nutrition, child discipline and budgeting.

The programme, which started in 2017, has since engaged 955 households in the parenting programme. This year, the programme intends to engage a further 500 PATH families targeting parents of children aged two to six years.

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