JIS News

A total of 62 projects have been approved for funding through the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, since it began operation in January this year.
As at September 30, 2003, $477.17 million was allocated to the five areas, with sports receiving $152.69 million for 10 projects. Early childhood education received $95.43 million; $76.35 million was allocated to the health sector, while approximately $57 million went to arts and culture.
The CHASE Fund, which is supported by the proceeds from ticket sales of lottery companies, was set up to administer, manage and distribute funds to various projects under the category of culture, health, arts, sports and education. A Finance Committee of the Board invests the money to increase its value until it is disbursed.
In her address at a press briefing on the Fund at the University of the West Indies on October 2, State Minister for Finance and Planning, Senator Deika Morrison, said that the five developmental areas that CHASE focuses on, “are important pillars in building a skilled and a more literate citizenry, promoting healthy lifestyles and creating a more rounded society”.
She pointed out that there has been widespread acceptance of the significance of sports and health in the development process, and there was now a growing recognition of the significance of culture, arts and early childhood education.
Giving an update on the Fund, Chairman of CHASE, Dr. Carlton Davis, noted that much had been achieved in the relatively short period that the organisation has been in existence.
He pointed out that some of the projects that received funding were the Devon House Redevelopment Project, the establishment of information and communication technology in various libraries across the island, the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, Addiction Alert and the expansion of the intensive care facilities at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
Dr. Davis added that the Fund led a drive to support the social aspect of the police anti-crime initiative by funding early childhood education, sports and health projects in inner-city communities at a cost of some $20 million.
He noted that consideration was being given to the renovation of the Ward Theatre and Liberty Hall in downtown Kingston, as part of the restoration programme for that area.

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