An extra £150 million has been allocated to buying personal protective equipment for Northern Ireland’s frontline workers.
It represents half of an additional £300 million agreed today (Thursday) to tackle Covid-19.
The package was outlined by Finance Minister Conor Murphy.
It is in addition to the £634.8 million already allocated, bringing the total funding for the emergency Covid-19 response to £933 million.
Minister Murphy said: “These allocations will help ensure our health service receives the funding it needs, protect vulnerable people, and support business.
“£150 million has been set aside to purchase Personal Protection Equipment for healthcare workers and other frontline workers.
“A further £65 million has been allocated to the Department of Health to help the fight against Covid-19.
“£15.3 million has been provided to support the most vulnerable in society. This funds a weekly food box service for over 10,000 people, grants for older people, support for the homeless. The Executive has agreed an additional £10 million for further interventions to support vulnerable members of our society.
“£12 million has been provided for Emergency Childcare provision for key workers. Plus an additional £0.4 million to enable the Youth Service to support the Department for Communities to provide food for vulnerable young people.
“£4 million has also been allocated to the PSNI to maintain critical services during Covid-19.”
On support for businesses and workers the Executive allocated £1.5 million to support the fishing industry.
Mr Murphy added: “I am keen that further support is targeted at businesses and workers that have fallen through the gaps in the initiatives announced so far. That is why the Executive has agreed to hold aside an additional £40 million for business support interventions.”
Conor Murphy added: “Protecting lives and livelihoods is the Executive’s number one priority.
“In addition to the Covid-19 funding, Departments will be reviewing their own budgets to ensure everything possible is done to support our health service, vulnerable people, and businesses during this crisis.”
Sign Up To Our Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for major breaking news stories as they happen – right to your inbox.