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  • In a matter of days the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOFPS), will open the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (“CARE”) Programme for applications. The CARE Programme will offer support to many Jamaicans affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, through a variety of grants. Ahead of the official launch, details of the CARE Programme were made available to the public via brochures that were inserted in newspapers across the country on Sunday, April 5, 2020.
  • The CARE Programme's Compassionate Grant is designed to provide a cash benefit to the unemployed and informally employed upon application through the CARE Programme’s mobile and online platform.
  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke, said, “We are concerned about the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the long term unemployed and on those with irregular or informal incomes. The CARE Programme’s Compassionate Grant has been designed to assist this group of Jamaicans during the COVID-19 pandemic. As long as you do not have a steady job you are eligible for this grant.”

In a matter of days the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOFPS), will open the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (“CARE”) Programme for applications. The CARE Programme will offer support to many Jamaicans affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, through a variety of grants. Ahead of the official launch, details of the CARE Programme were made available to the public via brochures that were inserted in newspapers across the country on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

The CARE Programme’s Compassionate Grant is designed to provide a cash benefit to the unemployed and informally employed upon application through the CARE Programme’s mobile and online platform.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke, said, “We are concerned about the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the long term unemployed and on those with irregular or informal incomes. The CARE Programme’s Compassionate Grant has been designed to assist this group of Jamaicans during the COVID-19 pandemic. As long as you do not have a steady job you are eligible for this grant.”

Individuals will be required to provide their name, Tax Registration Number (TRN), date of birth and other information during the application process. Persons who apply for the Compassionate Grant will not be eligible to receive any other benefit under the CARE Programme, with the exception of the Covid-19 PATH Grant. Beneficiaries of the Compassionate Grant will receive a one-time grant of $10,000 paid directly to their bank account or to a remittance company of their choice.

The Minister further noted that an effort is being made to target a broader group of Jamaicans than existing social programmes are able to achieve. ”While the Government will be making an additional allocation of $1.1 billion to the PATH Programme, PATH has well known coverage gaps as it’s targetted to those with school-aged children. The COVID pandemic is indiscriminate in its economic impact and we are determined to have the Government’s assistance reach as wide a group as possible.”

Other grants that will be made available under the CARE programme include the COVID-19 General Grant, the Covid-19 Tourism, the Covid-19 Small Business Grants, the Supporting Employees with Transfer of Cash (SET Cash), and the Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash) and the Student Loan Relief.

Under the CARE Programme, additional allocations of (i) $150 million will be made to the Ministry of Local Government to increase capacity of the Poor Relief Fund, (ii) $189 million to the Constituency Development Fund to assist the vulnerable through members of parliament and (iii) $200 million for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) for the benefit of farmers.

“We care about all citizens of this country and are aware that many Jamaicans will be economically impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Jamaica hopes to assist as many Jamaicans as possible through the $10 billion CARE Programme. At the same time, it is important for every Jamaican to realize that this is a time where all of us as citizens need to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper,” said Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, MP, Minister of Finance and the Public Service

Applications to the CARE Programme open on April 9, 2020. They will be electronic and facilitated by an online and mobile platform. In addition, those with questions will be able to call the helpline at 888-4WE-CARE (888-493-2273). The CARE Programme Brochure is now available for download by visiting www.wecare.gov.jm.

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