The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will spend $382 million this financial year, to further empower Jamaicans under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Details of this allocation are contained in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
Under the Social Protection Project, the government will aim to improve the effectiveness of PATH by providing benefits designed to motivate academic achievement and retention in secondary schools.
It will also seek to develop a structured system to assist working age members of PATH households to attain meaningful employment, as well as to enable a comprehensive review of the public sector pensions, improving systems administration and building capacity for public sector pension reform.
This year, the project will see the implementation of a social housing project, expected to deliver some 120 housing solutions; the re-certification of approximately 37,000 PATH families for continued eligibility; the development of a graduation policy and exit strategies for PATH; and the provision of skills training and remedial education to some 525 farmers, 120 low literacy clients and 500 youth.
The initiative, which is being funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commenced in October 2008 and is expected to continue until September 2013.
It has seen a number of achievements up to March 2013. These include: the expansion of the cash transfer from 236,000 to 408,000 beneficiaries; the introduction of new benefits for poor households to include differentiated payments and post-secondary grants to create incentives for school attendance and completion; and the implementation of a new beneficiary management information system for PATH.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter