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  • By Pacific Island Times News Staff

FSM rolls out safety net for low-income households skipped over for PUA

FSM President Panuelo, Speaker Lambert and Secretary Amor pose with recipients oftheLow-Income AssistanceProgram. Photo courtesy of FSM Information Service

Palikir, Pohnpei— The Federated States of Micronesia today launched a program to provide temporary cash relief to low-income households and individuals who fell through the cracks.

The Office of the FSM President said the program covers households outside of the formal labor sector, such as subsistence farmers and fishermen and specifically such laborers who do not qualify for the pandemic unemployment assistance program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Low-Income Assistance Social Protection Program is funded through a $14 million grant from the Asian Development Bank.

"With over 16,000 applications received so far, the FSM national government is prioritizing households with zero recordable income before moving to households with minimal income," states a press release from the Office of the FSM President.

Of the $14 million earmarked for the program, $7 million has been allocated for assisting zero-income and low-income households.

Officials said the program will be implemented by the Department of Finance & Administration with help from the mayors and state Covid-19 task forces.

"After the mayors and municipal-level Covid-19 task forces distributed the application questionnaire, the municipal governments signed off on the forms to verify the authenticity of the application," the government press release said.

"Then, the Department of Finance & Administration checked household members’ income against the PUA Program database and the FSM Social Security database."

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