Julie James, Leader of the House and Chief Whip
It is unacceptable that some women and girls in Wales cannot afford to buy essential feminine hygiene products when they need them. I am committed to doing everything I can to tackle this inequality.
As part of the of the gender and equality rapid review which the First Minister has asked me to lead, he has asked us to work with local government to create a national, sustainable response to period poverty. This announcement is the first step towards achieving that goal.
Yesterday, I wrote to local authorities offering them a package of funding to help deliver the change that is needed.
Local authorities will receive £440,000 over the next two years to tackle period poverty in their communities where levels of deprivation are highest by providing feminine hygiene products to those women and girls most in need.
Additionally £700,000 of capital funding will be available to improve facilities and equipment in schools, ensuring that all girls and young women can access good sanitary facilities when they need them.
Local authorities are best placed to know where to target effective action for tackling period poverty in their communities, which is why we are asking them to use their knowledge to identify and help those who need it the most.
My officials will be contacting all local authorities with details of the funding available to them in the coming days and we will continue to work closely with them and third sector organisations to evaluate the situation and ensure resources are being allocated to their maximum effect.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.