List of beneficiaries of Ñangareko Programme in Paraguay published online
As a result of the challenges emerging from Covid-19 to disburse financial assistance, the government of Paraguay decided to change its food security programme, Ñangareko, from an in-kind benefit to a bank transfer consisting of a one-off payment of PYG 500,000 (= +/-73USD).
The Ñangareko Programme is aimed at those affected by Covid-19 which are stated to include the most vulnerable, informal workers, persons without a RUC (the unique taxpayer registry number) or social security, and who don’t benefit from any other social programme.
Some documented concerns related to privacy include the lack of secure online platforms. The website dedicated to Ñangareko does not offer a secure connection as evidenced by the absence of “https”, and is hosted by a server owned by a private company, and not a government website. Concerningly, the list of beneficiaries is available in an Excel format for anyone to access from a Google Drive and from the government website, which makes publicly available the name, ID number and district of those benefiting from the programme. The beneficiary list of another assistance programmes called Pytyvõ is also available online in the same format.
Initially, the scheme was intended to enable individuals to withdraw the cash from ATM machines. Instead, disbursement methods now require beneficiaries to present their national ID to access the benefit. This raises concerns for those without an ID if it becomes the standard means of accessing the benefit.
One element remains unclear given that the government had received 1 million requests but only 330,000 people were calculated to be able to receive the assistance. It is unclear what process and criteria were used to filter the number of requests down to this number.