Financial technology company WiPay is making plans to provide COVID-19 grants to Jamaicans, under the management of Food for the Poor.
“WiPay will develop a solution to provide an instant COVID-19 Relief Grant to assist the neediest persons. The programme will be managed by one of Jamaica’s largest NGOs – Food for the Poor. We will also be partnering with the Bounty Foundation, the Progressive Group and JMMB to distribute in our communities islandwide, using WiPay’s flat technology and point of sale terminals,” said Kibwe McGann, WiPay’s country manager.
Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer (Rodney Price) said he was excited about the initiative. “I decided to partner with WiPay because they suggest they want to give back to the poor and the affected in the pandemic. That’s very important and as you know, I am Bounty Killer, the poor people’s governor and I am always trying to care and share and give back,” said the artiste. He added that it was a ‘no brainer’ because the initiative is important.
The initiative is also supported by dancehall artiste Teejay (Timoy Jones) and his foundation – the Uptop Foundation. “It’s poor people and I was poor one time and so I am very grateful to be giving back to poor people. In this time, it is very important,” said Jones. “During this crisis, people really need it. Day by day, we’re going through, haffi help people,” added the artiste.
Aldwyn Wayne, CEO and founder of WiPay, said COVID-19 has caused a pandemic. “At this point in time, we have to find ways to help the most vulnerable in society and this initiative is just that,” said Wayne. He added that WiPay is fortunate to be in the online space which is less affected by the pandemic, and noted that the grants were part of their corporate responsibility to give back to Caribbean people.
“It was a corporate decision. We felt that the funds allocated to market WiPay in Jamaica at this point would be better utilized in making sure that we help the citizens who may use our system who are currently sinking under water a bit,” said Wayne.
WiPay has already committed $4 million to the initiative. However, the amount continues to grow as partners and sponsors contribute. Citizens will be able to use these grants at convenient locations for the acquisition of goods and services such as supermarkets and pharmacies.