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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — The Ministry of Social Development will on September 26 formally launch the reorganized government assistance program, which brings relief to the most vulnerable Grenadians.

The Support for Education Empowerment and Development (SEED) project now unifies three grant giving programs under one administrative arrangement. The programs are the school transportation allowance, the necessitous fund and the public assistance program. The focus is on families rather than individuals, which was the case in the past.

The project has a number of other new features and its primary focus is developing the human capital potential of underprivileged school aged and youthful beneficiaries. For the first time school aged beneficiaries are required to attend school regularly and do health checks at specified intervals, which will be verified.

An increase has also been given to the maximum qualifiable benefit per family, making it possible for a family duly comprised of beneficiaries to receive a maximum of $400, whereas in the past it was effectively $300 that could be applied.

For the first time since the establishment of SEED, needy students from T. A. Marryshow Community College, the Program for Adolescent Mothers and New Life Organization will be included for transport assistance under the program. Also for the first time a central beneficiary information management system has been put in place and a more impartial system of targeting through a proxy means test.

Under this project, a family agent or representative will collect benefits once per month at the revenue offices, unlike in the past when various members collected on their own behalf at more than one approved locations.

The elderly will continue to benefit from government assistance as usual.

The SEED project will continue as a program after the current phase of funding from the World Bank and government of Grenada culminates, as will the operational and other structures.

The SEED project is the first under government’s safety net advancement project and is intended to serve as a pilot for similar projects in the OECS.

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