Minister with Responsibility for Social Security, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — More than 8,500 persons in St. Kitts and Nevis who were negatively affected due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic, have benefited from a pay-out of more than EC $22.7 million from the Social Security COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

This was revealed by Minister with Responsibility for Social Security, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, during his February 1 speech marking the 43rd Anniversary of St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board.

“Over 8,500 persons were provided with the COVID-19 fund grants, which served as stimulus payments in respect of the period, April to June 2020 in the first instance, and again in September 2020,” said Hon. Hamilton. “This was a significant complement to the overall stimulus regime, orchestrated by our Team Unity government, as its initial early response, to the financial challenges facing so many of our people, when international and local commerce and industry, began to buckle, under the weight of the pandemic.”

Hamilton said that Social Security’s response to COVID-19 was highly ranked when compared to similar initiatives.

“This support, unmatched by any other institution, was instrumental in keeping our economy afloat and provided much-needed support to the insured populace,” he said. “This level of support is unprecedented, and I am advised, that it has been the only one of its kind across the region. It underscores the importance of Social Security as a crucial social safety net and the fundamental economic pillar of our society. Indeed, it also bears out our mantra that Social Security touches lives ‘from the cradle to the grave.’”

Each insured person who was laid off or unemployed, including self-employed persons, as a result of the impact of COVID-19, was paid up to $1,000 per month for three months in the first instance from the relief programme.