It has come to the attention of the Social Protection Board and the Minister of the Ministry of Social Transformation (under which the Social Protection Board falls) of the circulation of untruthful and misleading statements relating to persons’ eligibility to participate in the Social Protection Board’s Food Program.
The Social Protection Board would like to make it clear that it is not a requirement, and has never been a requirement, that beneficiaries of the Food Program provide a voter’s ID card.
However in an effort to ensure accountability and in keeping with good governance standards, persons accessing the Food Program are required to provide a government–issued form of identification when collecting food assistance packages. A voter ID is only one of several forms of government-issued identification accepted for this purpose.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 and in keeping with current Regulations, proper public health protocols are in place when it comes to the distribution and collection of food assistance packages. All persons, including those who are beneficiaries of the Food Program and those collecting food assistance packages, are subject to these protocols.
The Social Protection Board is committed to poverty alleviation and ensuring that vulnerable households in Antigua and Barbuda receive all necessary social support.
The Social Protection Board condemns the actions of persons and media houses that have broadcasted or caused to be broadcast misleading information with respect to the Food Program operated by the Social Protection Board. Such misinformation can only have the effect of discouraging those persons who are in need of accessing the help that is available to them.
The Social Protection Board will hold to accountable all persons who have used media platforms to spread misinformation and to undermine the credibility of the Food Program and the character and integrity of those who are responsible for its administration.