18,000 More Jamaicans to Benefit under Path, School Feeding Programme Expansion


Some 18,000 more Jamaicans are to benefit under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) as the Government continues to put measures in place to lessen the hardship on the poor and most vulnerable in the society.
The addition represents a 58 per cent increase in the number of PATH beneficiaries since 2007, and will be accompanied by a 34.19 per cent or $868.2 million increase in the allocation to the programme over the previous year.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, making the announcement as he opened the 2010/11 Budget Debate in Gordon House yesterday (April 8), said that over the last three years, expenditure on PATH has increased by 180 per cent, moving from $1.2 billion to $3.4 billion.
He said this figure included a substantial rise in the assistance provided to children attending school, which has moved from $604 million in 2006/07 to $2.2 billion in 2010/11.
Meanwhile, the Government will be boosting the School Feeding programme, which will now cater to 220,000 students compared with the 185,371 students that were provided for in the last budget.
Mr. Shaw said the decision was taken to expand the programme as “good nutrition is vital to the physical, social, and mental development of our children as poor nutrition diminishes their cognitive development and compromises their ability to effectively participate in learning experiences”.

JIS Social