We have worked closely with partners, including local authorities and third sector and community organisations, to support individuals who are most at risk during the pandemic. Backed by initial investment of £350 million through our communities funding package, we have made more than £110 million available to tackle food insecurity, announced £43 million to tackle digital exclusion and made over £80 million in awards to community and third sector organisations to take forward projects that support the wellbeing of individuals across Scotland.
In the programme for government, we set out our intention to establish a new community and third sector recovery programme to continue to support people and communities in responding to the on-going impact of the pandemic.
In the programme for government, we set out our commitment to community-led regeneration. If my memory serves me correctly, it is worth £275 million. That should enable communities such as the one that Maurice Corry describes to access funds and support to take forward projects that are close to them. We recognise that regenerating our communities is far more sustainable if it is community led and supported.
There are other areas that we can explore in considering how to support and improve the health and wellbeing of people in the most deprived communities. Last month, I launched “Tackling child poverty: second year progress report (2019-2020)”, which set out the range of commitments that we have taken forward to support people who are living in poverty. We also intend to open up the Scottish child payment to applications, which will help to reduce child poverty when the payments start in February.