Economically Challenged Senior Citizens Urged to Register with PATH


Senior citizens who are having difficulties taking care of themselves are being urged to sign up with the Programme for Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), so that assistance can be provided.
The call was made by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, at the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) Conference on aging, held today (November 24), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
The Minister said that some senior citizens who bought their houses 25 years ago are currently experiencing difficulties, but because PATH was not set up for persons who own houses, they are not receiving any benefit.
“What we have discovered is that there are 10,000 elderly persons in Jamaica who own a house, but there is no light, and no running water. We have dubbed them as income poor, although they have some asset. So, any person in this category please reapply or call the Ministry and we will send somebody,” Mr. Charles said.
Some 47,873 elderly persons were benefitting from the PATH programme up to August 2009. “This translates into a significant number of old persons being able to meet some of their domestic and financial needs with support from PATH,” the Minister said.
The PATH programme is a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme, funded by the Government and the World Bank, aimed at delivering benefits by way of cash grants to the most needy and vulnerable in the society. It was introduced in 2001 to rationalise the operations of existing income transfer programmes, in order to eliminate duplication, reduce administrative costs, streamline the use of resources, and increase the effectiveness of programme delivery to the poor.
Meanwhile, Mr. Charles said the Government continues to support the work of the NCSC, as it continues to develop meaningful programmes for the elderly in Jamaica.
The NCSC is an agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security that caters to senior citizens in Jamaica. The council offers a number of programmes and activities that are geared toward improving the quality of life of seniors. The aim is to empower seniors in national development as well as to bridge the intergenerational gap in the society.

JIS Social