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Monday, April 15, 2024

    Citizenship By Investment Used To Fight COVID-19

    The United Workers Party (UWP) is recommending a number of measures for implementation by the government to assist Dominican citizens who are most vulnerable and affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    These suggestions are also aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus.

    As of Monday 30th March 2020, the government reported that there were twelve (12) confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the island.

    In a document released to the media entitled “COVID-19 Dominica- Funding the National Response”, the UWP proposes measures in three main areas: (1) The Health Care System (2) Emergency Relief, Protecting Consumers and Economic Stimulation and (3) Financing.

    It stated that in order to obtain a strong and well-prepared health system for COVID-19, additional hospital capacity, availability of necessary medications, supplies and equipment and adequate protection should be provided for health care workers.

    “Emergency Insurance for all “Frontline Workers” including but not limited to those in healthcare, immigration, police, customs and ports to cater for payment of medicals for anyone contracting COVID-19 and support financing to immediate surviving family in the event any such worker dies from having contracted COVID-19,” it stated.

    Effective Coordination of the response between health authorities at all levels of government is also recommended.

    In terms of emergency relief, protection of consumers and economic stimulation, the letter focused on five key issues including employment income and business continuity support.

    The suspension of all consumer and small business credit payments, support for vulnerable groups (the homeless, single-parent households and people living with disabilities), food security and telecommunications.

    Some specific suggestions include an increase in minimum old-age pensions from three hundred dollars ($EC300) to five hundred dollars ($EC500) monthly.

    Business development grants of up to fifty thousand dollars ($EC50,000) for manufacturing operations in the processing of local root crops, vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, fish and meats. Livelihood stabilization grants of at least a thousand dollars ($EC1,000) monthly for vulnerable groups, for three months.

    In terms of financing, the UWP noted that all funds collected from the sale of Dominican citizenship “through the so-called Housing component” of the CBI in the last two financial years (2018/2019 and 2019/2020).

    Less amounts used for the construction of public housing and other state projects, “must be immediately deposited in the consolidated fund to finance first and foremost, Dominica’s COVID-19 response and other pressing needs on the agenda of revised national development priorities.”

    “The relief, recovery and economic stimulus plan carries an estimated cost of $300 million and will be financed by funds from the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program,” the release stated.

    It said in the absence of immediate and substantial government spending, the COVID-19 pandemic will wreak havoc with lives and livelihoods in Dominica.

    To date, 1,033,478 are affected by COVID-19 and 54,369 have died in 181 countries worldwide.


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