By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW):The World Bank has said that it will continue to support the Aswesuma social welfare benefit program to protect Sri Lanka’s poor and vulnerable.
Faris H. Hadad-Zervos, the World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he met with State Minister Shehan Semasinghe and the Chairman of the Welfare Benefits Board on the progress of the Aswesuma payment scheme, and commitment to reach the 2 million families target.
On the 9th of May 2023, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe gave out directions for the initiation of “Aswesuma” welfare benefit payments, which are scheduled to commence from July 1st.
Accordingly, these payments will be distributed among four social categories, namely transitional, vulnerable, poor, and extremely poor.
Additionally, the usual allowances for the differently-abled, elderly, and kidney patients will also be provided
According to the President’s Media Division, the distribution of funding is as– 400,000 transitional beneficiaries will receive Rs.2,500per month until December 31, 2023,– 400,000 vulnerable beneficiaries will receive Rs.5,000 per month until March 31, 2024,– 800,000 poor beneficiaries will receive Rs.8,500 per month
– Extremely poor beneficiaries will receive Rs.15,000 per month for three years beginning July 1, 2023.
Effective from July, the Welfare Benefits Board implemented a direct crediting system, ensuring that beneficiaries’ bank accounts are directly credited with the necessary welfare benefits.
This encompasses the correction of any previous errors in social welfare benefits and the continuation of existing Government assistance programs such as Samurdhi and Elderly Assistance, said the President’s Media Division.
The ‘Aswesuma’ welfare benefit program, initiated by the President as part of the social safety net to alleviate the ongoing economic crisis, is being overseen by Minister of State for Finance Shehan Semasinghe, with involvement from various Government agencies, including the Ministry of Finance.