The money-for-jabs program initiated by the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, was aimed at "encouraging people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and supporting those sectors of the economy that have suffered the most from quarantine restrictions".
According to conditions outlined in the program, money (1000 hryvnia) has been given to the citizens of Ukraine from the age of 14 years old if they can show proof of a full course of vaccination against the Corona virus.
The official start of the program took place on December 19, 2021, and was designed to last a year – until December 18, 2022, and will be implemented in several stages. “In the first stage, the funds will be received through the Diia application. In the second stage (II-III quarter of 2022) there will be offered an alternative offline mechanism, which is currently being elaborated. People who do not have smartphones will be able to apply for help offline.”
On February 14, Ukrainians aged over 60 were able to spend the funds accrued under the ePidtrymka program to pay for housing and communal services. Currently, some 3,5 million people aged over 60 have a green Covid-19 vaccination certificate, according to the government.
Despite the promise of money, only one in five Ukrainians have however so far opted for a full course of Covid-19 vaccine, the lowest rate in Europe. This suggests that even before the war, the trust in government had eroded. Banking oligarchs are behind the push for helicopter money and the program was extended after hostilities began.
From March 14, people with disabilities will be able to spend the funds received under the program for social needs, including medicines and utility bills. Meanwhile, from March 14, all Ukrainians who have had a booster shot, will be able to receive an additional 500 hryvnia.
Ukrainians do not have the choice but to spend the money only on certain items, such as books and medicine.
“To date, more than 8,6 million Ukrainians have benefitted from the ePidtrymka program. The undisputed leading direction in spending funds that our citizens received for vaccination is the purchase of books – in less than two months, Ukrainians have bought books for 1 billion hryvnia. Obviously, this will be a significant support for the publishing business.
“Older people are also actively using the opportunity to buy medicines received from the state, they have spent over 300 million hryvnia on these items in three weeks,” said Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Oleksandr Hryban.
In total, since the beginning of the ePidtrymka launch, 8,6 billion hryvnia has been transferred to Ukrainians’ cards, and citizens have already spent 3 billion hryvnia of the funding received.
In addition, since the start of the conflict, the amount of 6500 hryvnia in assistance was made available within the framework of ePidtrymka to those areas “affected by hostilities the most”.
Certain payment restrictions were also since removed from the program. “The payment is aimed at supporting the population in those areas where the most active hostilities are taking place. It will also allow to support individual entrepreneurs who cannot provide for themselves due to the start of the war”. It is only available to jabbed Ukrainians. Russians and the unvaccinated are excluded.
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