Trinidad and Tobago
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Ministry offers food, financial, psychological help for flood victims

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Yvonne Webb A child is seen on the roof of his house which is surrounded by water off the Gasparillo Main Road, Gasparillo. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
A child is seen on the roof of his house which is surrounded by water off the Gasparillo Main Road, Gasparillo. - Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

HELP is coming for flood victims in the form of emergency food support, financial and psychological assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services.

The ministry said it has activated its critical incident response system as a result of heavy rain which caused flooding in some 67 areas across the country, devastating families who live there.

In a release, the ministry said it has partnered with key stakeholders, including the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government (MRDLG) through the ARCGIS Survey 123 Platform of shared information and electronic assessments, to ensure support is provided to those affected in the shortest possible time.

The ministry outlined a number of initiatives aimed at providing relief and is encouraging people who are eligible to apply.

For minor house repairs, people can access up to $20,000 funding; up to $15,000 to assist with sanitary plumbing; a clothing grant of up to $1,000 per person; and a school supplies grant amounting to $700 per primary student, as well as $1,000 for a child attending secondary school. A grant to cover replacement of household items, up to a maximum of $10,000, is also on the relief list.

For people affected by flooding who have not yet been visited by the DMU or the MRDLG, the ministry has a critical incident online application form which may be accessed via its website at www.social.gov.tt and completed for disaster relief.

It said officers are also in the field processing applications.

Counselling and psychosocial support from the ministry’s National Family Services Division is also being offered for families who may be feeling stressed and anxious.

A toll-free suicide prevention hotline – 800-COPE – has also been set up for those who may need urgent counselling by phone.

For further information and assistance, the ministry can be contacted at 800-1MSD (1673), though the social welfare district offices, or via messages through any of its social media platforms.