Peru to release second round of COVID-19 pensions

The Peruvian government will today launch a second round of subsidies under its Universal Family Bond program, following the deployment

Peru Reuters

Photo: Reuters

The Peruvian government will today launch a second round of subsidies under its Universal Family Bond program, following the deployment of the first round in late May.

Around five million bonds out of a total 6.8 million—worth approximately $223 each—have been distributed to Peruvian households. The stimulus is a critical component of the state’s economic reactivation stage, in which the government has boosted purchasing power and stoked demand to counteract the 3.5 million layoffs suffered as a consequence of COVID-19.

The state hopes to deliver the two million outstanding bonds before the end of the month, a task hindered by bureaucratic inefficiencies and remote rural homes not listed on official registries. Prime Minister Vincente Ceballos has hinted at the possibility of a new bond program to cope with snowballing losses; this looks increasingly likely as Peru is the continent’s second-largest COVID-19 hotspot, a distinction borne of widespread disregard for the nation’s early lockdown.

The recent gridlock between the government’s executive and legislative branches could complicate the rollout of further assistance. Expect Peru to reflect the short-term prognosis for many emerging markets—hobbled by shadow economies and a lack of social safety nets—as the spread of COVID-19 continues to defy domestic response efforts.

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