Over 2 million Sri Lankans apply for ‘Leave No One Behind’ welfare programme

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ‘Leave No One Behind’ welfare programme for low-income families has received 2.3 million applications, the president’s office said quoting the Welfare Benefit Board.

A statement from the president’s office said on Wednesday October 12 that the applications are being promptly entered into the system through ‘Welfare Benefit Information Units’ established in 341 divisional secretariats around the country.

As of Wednesday, the statement said, 624,714 applications have been entered into the system.

Some 600,000 families downgraded to the low-income category in the face of the second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic and the subsequent currency crisis , as reported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are also eligible to apply for the ‘Leave No One Behind’ welfare fast-track programme, the president’s office said.

This is in addition to the 3.3 million families that are currently receiving welfare benefits or those who are already on the waiting list.

The president’s office estimates that 3.9 million families will apply for the programme.

“Hence, 3.9 million low-income families are to be benefitted from this program. The Welfare Benefit Board says that the program would be implemented under six phases and the second phase is also implemented concurrently with the first phase. It also says the next step is to collect data through a door-to-door campaign,” the statement said.

Those who are already receiving Samurdhi, elderly, disabled and kidney patients’ welfare benefits as well as those who are seeking new welfare benefits are also advised to register for the ‘Leave No One Behind’ programme.

According to the statement, the registration application forms were published on August 30 and the number of applications entered into the data system stood at 100,000 by September 29.

“However, with the publicity given by the President Media Division recently, the Welfare Benefit Board has received 2,300,000 applications. The Board also said that the closing date for applications has been set as October 15.

“The welfare benefits board stated that the pilot project conducted in this regard was a resounding success and the list of qualified applicants would be announced at the Divisional Secretariat level by December 15,” it said. (Colombo/Oct12/2022)

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