Th United Nations is today suggesting that temporary basic income payments could stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. They say these temp pay outs to the poor would allow the world’s poorest people to stay at home.

According to an article by Bloomberg, the UN says the money for such an effort could come from a variety of sources, including the reallocation of external debt service payments. The Group of 20 leading economies has offered a Debt Service Suspension Initiative to the world’s poorest nations that runs through December. So far, 42 countries have requested help under the plan, and $5.3 billion in repayments has been suspended.

“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented social and economic measures,” Achim Steiner, the UNDP’s administrator said in a statement. “A temporary basic income might enable governments to give people in lockdown a financial lifeline, inject cash back into local economies to help keep small businesses afloat, and slow the devastating spread of Covid-19.”school lunches

In Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Social Development has been praised by the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley for its efforts in assisting those who qualify for social assistance, during the pandemic. Relief has been offered via the Salary Relief Grant, the Rental Assistance Grant and Food cards for families of children would have been receiving school meals during the term.