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  • Hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans have responded to the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme.
  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, gave a brief update during the ‘Telethon Jamaica-Together We Stand’ event on Sunday (April 12).
  • The $10-billion programme offers financial assistance through grants and relief packages to persons across various sectors, who are impacted by COVID-19. Applications opened on April 9 and will close by June 30.

Hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans have responded to the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, gave a brief update during the ‘Telethon Jamaica-Together We Stand’ event on Sunday (April 12).

The $10-billion programme offers financial assistance through grants and relief packages to persons across various sectors, who are impacted by COVID-19. Applications opened on April 9 and will close by June 30.

Dr. Clarke said that applications have been received for all categories of support from Compassionate Grants for the unemployed and the informally employed, to the Supporting Employees with Transfer of Cash (SET) Grants, which provide temporary cash transfers to individuals, who have lost their jobs.

Other grants available under the CARE programme include the COVID-19 General Grant (barbers, hairdressers, transport operators, craft vendor, bar and night club operators); COVID-19 PATH Grants; COVID-19 Tourism Grants; COVID-19 Small Business Grants; the Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash) for business within the tourism industry; and Student Loan Relief.

Dr. Clarke said that the Government will look into offering funds to entertainers, who have been badly affected by COVID-19.

“We have recognised that entertainers as well have been hard hit by this. There are no performances, no dances and so on,” he noted.

“So, we are working with Minister (Olivia) Grange and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, to come up with something for persons, who are vulnerable in the entertainment (sector),” he noted.

The CARE Programme brochure and details for application are available at www.wecare.gov.jm. Persons can also call the helpline at 888-4WE-CARE (888-493-2273) for information.

Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke hailed the telethon, which featured performances by various artistes “as a good demonstration of the country and the Diaspora coming together and rallying during this time of crisis.”

“I think this is a phenomenal idea and congrats to Minister Grange and all those who have been behind it and all the artistes, who have come out to support,” he said.

“This is a time that Jamaicans have to come together and with God’s help, when we come together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish and nothing that we cannot overcome,” he added.

The ‘Telethon Jamaica-Together We Stand’ virtual fund-raising concert was hosted by the Government through the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, with the goal of raising US$10 million to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the country’s health care workers on the frontline battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, donated US$3000 from his Foundation, Positive Jamaica, to the effort, with Dr. Clarke contributing US$2,000 from his Foundation, the Growth and Opportunity Trust.

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