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    The Government’s effort at consolidating the social safety net reform programme, through the Social Protection Support to Food Price Crisis project, has been bolstered by a $612.8 million allocation, in the 2009/10 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
    This project, which commenced in January and will last until January 2011, aims to underpin the administration’s strategy to “reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty, by increasing the human capital levels of the poor.”
    The main objectives of the initiative, which will be effected by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, are improving the welfare of beneficiaries on the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), by increasing the amount of the subsidy provided, and incorporating additional vulnerable households into the PATH safety net; as well as increasing the human capital levels of poor families, via their attending schools and clinics.
    Funded by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it is anticipated that several targets will be achieved during the 2009/10 fiscal year. These include: increasing the number of PATH beneficiaries in Kingston and St. Andrew by 10 per cent; achieving at least an 82 per cent compliance of school attendance conditionality among beneficiary children in grades 1 to 11, as well as health clinic attendance conditionality among beneficiary children, 0 to 11 months of age; design and development of seven fully operational management information systems, incorporating hardware and software.
    In addition, it seeks to improve the service standard of the average waiting period between enrolment and the first payment to six months; design and execute a National Promotion Campaign, with approximately 75 per cent of the evaluation exercise being undertaken; completion of audits for disbursements, and follow-up studies of beneficiaries in households with long-term programme participation, as well as conducting coping strategy studies.

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