More than half a million people have registered for the national government's new 45,000-peso "food booster" aid payment for adults who live in extreme poverty and receive no state aid, the ANSES social security agency announced Tuesday.
Argentina’s government last week confirmed an "emergency bonus payment" would be made to the destitute to help them deal with runaway inflation and soaring food prices. Those who qualify for the scheme will receive a first payment of 22,500 pesos on November 14, the additional half to follow at a date yet to be confirmed, said ANSES.
Registration for the emergency ‘Refuerzo Alimentario para Adultos sin Ingresos’ (“Food Booster for Adults without Income”) welfare scheme must be made in-person at ANSES branches nationwide. The agency's staff have so far spoken with more than 514,000 people via a mobile outreach programme and appointments at its offices.
The programme is aimed at the most vulnerable people in the country. It will apply to individuals aged between 18 and 64 years who do not receive any form of income, assistance or subsidy from the state or have any registered assets.
"At all our offices, our website and with mobile operations in the most remote places or with the largest population, we were able to attend to all the people who signed up for this reinforcement, which we remember is for those who have nothing, who do not receive any assistance from the State and are in a situation of extreme social and economic gravity," said ANSES executive director Fernanda Raverta.
Last week the INDEC national statistics bureau announced that the price of the basic food basket in Argentina hit 59,931 pesos in September – a year-on-year increase of 89 percent, six points more than total inflation over the past 12 months (83 percent). The figure underlines the impact of soaring price hikes on the poor, which are more heavily affected than those in the middle and upper classes.
The basic food basket consists of the set of basic food items needed to feed a family for a month. It corresponds to a group composed of a married couple and two young children.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages recorded a rise of 6.7 percent last month as Argentina's annual inflation surged to a new 30-year high. Consumer prices rose 83 percent from a year ago in September, according to official data. Inflation reached 6.2 percent for the month, according to official data. Since the turn of the year, prices have increased by 66.1 percent – one of the worst figures in the world.