Free pads for women, girls as $50M approved for First Lady’s Menstrual Hygiene programme

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More women and girls will be able to benefit from free sanitary pads, proving their menstrual hygiene, as $50 million was approved for this programme under the Ministry of Health.

This allocation was first announced by the Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh during his presentation of the 2022 National Budget in January.

First Lady Arya Ali has launched her menstrual hygiene initiative in 2021 with the aim of ending period poverty- which is a lack of access to adequate menstrual products, facilities and adequate education.

Since then, a number of individuals and organisations have contributed towards this initiative, helping to make sanitary products freely accessible to girls in the various regions.

During the consideration of the budget estimates on Thursday, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony announced that the First Lady’s programme will be catered for under his ministry.

“… rather than have it as an ad hoc programme, we have included it so that we can budget it to make sure that people who require these can benefit from it,” Dr. Anthony explained.

The $50 million sum is expected to boost the First Lady’s efforts, benefitting over 30,000 adolescent girls this year.

In a Facebook post following Dr. Singh’s budget presentation, Mrs. Ali said her Office approached the Central Government for funding to be able to sustain her efforts at providing free sanitary pads to women and girls.

With full coverage provided to girls through fundraisers and donations last year, the First Lady said her focus will now shift to women and ensuring that they too receive similar support.

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