The Ananda Alert system is to be moved from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to the Ministry of Youth and Culture.
Making the disclosure at on June 27 Jamaica House press briefing, Local Government Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, informed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to effect the transfer, has already been signed. He said the system will be under the direct remit of the Child Development Agency (CDA).
“The decision came about a month ago but proposals were already there, that it doesn’t fit with the profile of the Ministry of Local Government, so therefore, discussions have been taking place about the appropriate agency that would be in charge of it,” he explained, noting that the CDA “was happy to get the programme".
He said there were some successes under the programme but it will now get more sustained focus and support from the CDA.
Ananda Alert, Jamaica's response to reports of missing children, was officially launched on May 19, 2009 at the Office of the Prime Minister.
The alert system is triggered when a child goes missing and a call is made to the police, after which stakeholders such as the local authorities, and telecommunications companies Digicel and LIME are mobilised to alert the media and to get the information into the public domain.
The creation of the nation-wide missing children emergency network was inspired by the death of 11-year old Ananda Dean, who was killed after she disappeared on her way home from school in September 2008.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter