JIS News

The Government today (August 13) received grant funding totaling more than
$92 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to be used to strengthen social intervention initiatives.
Of the sum, $38.7 million (US$450,000) is for the modernisation of the School Feeding Programme, while the majority share of $53.3 million (US$620,000) will go towards a technical cooperation agreement, which will assist the Government in enhancing social spending and contribute to policy and institutional reforms. The components of the cooperation agreement will be carried out under a programme entitled: ‘Understanding the Social Effects of the Financial Crisis’.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw (left), has a light moment with Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, Hiroshai Yamaguchi, and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Representative, Gerard Johnson. Occasion was a signing ceremony held today (August 13) at the Ministry, for a $92 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to be used to strengthen social intervention initiatives.

At the signing ceremony held this morning (Aug.13) at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service’s National Heroes Circle headquarters, portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, expressed appreciation for the funding.
He informed that the support for school feeding is being provided from the Japan Special Fund through the IDB. He welcomed the support, noting that it would boost Government’s efforts to expand the programme to students, who do not benefit from the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
“The Government of Jamaica has placed considerable importance and premium on the nutritional side of our public education system and we made the decision last year to significantly expand the school feeding programme with another $1 billion…to include students that do not fall under the PATH programme,” he said.
Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, Hiroshai Yamaguchi noted that the funding for the School Feeding Programme was indicative of his Government’s commitment to supporting the young people of Jamaica.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw (left) accepts the Letter of Agreement for the ‘Understanding the Social Effects of the Financial Crisis’ Programme from Inter-American Development Bank Country Representative, Gerard Johnson (right), while Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, Hiroshai Yamaguchi, looks on. Occasion was a signing ceremony held today (August 13) at the Ministry, for a $92 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to be used to strengthen social intervention initiatives.

He said that the support will help improve school attendance and “bring great results to Jamaica’s future leaders.”
Turning to the funding provided for the strengthening of the Government’s capacity to provide social assistance, Minister Shaw said that the support is “very timely”.
“It is aimed at improving the assessment of the impact of the financial crisis on vulnerable groups and this will include identifying various policy options to increase the productivity of firms in the informal sector, to assess the impact of the downturn in remittances on the economy, and to improve the effectiveness of social spending,” Mr. Shaw informed.
IDB Country Representative to Jamaica, Gerard Johnson, in his remarks, said the programme is in line with the Government’s decision to protect spending on health, education and the social safety net initiatives.
“These are definitely linked into the strategy we have with the Government. It’s all in the same vein, to protect the most vulnerable groups, to bring greater transparency and greater efficiency to the public sector,” Mr. Johnson stated.
The programme will be implemented through the IDB’s Social Protection and Health Division, in partnership with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

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