JIS News

The Government will be providing increased social protection support for the country’s poor and vulnerable, who have been severely impacted by rising world food prices.
A sum of $105 million has been set aside in the 2010/2011 Estimates of Expenditure, which is before the House of Representatives, for the Social Protection Support to Food Price Crisis project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, the project, during this fiscal year, will strengthen the technical and administrative capacities in the central and parish offices of the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH); and improve programme management, efficiency, and the quality of service delivered to beneficiaries.
Support will also be provided for the relocation of the Ministry’s Kingston and St. Andrew parish office; outreach will be undertaken for pregnant and lactating women; and support given for a comprehensive nutrition promotion campaign and related activities.
The project, implemented in January 2009, aims to contribute to the Government’s strategy to reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty by facilitating regular school and health clinic attendance; improve the welfare of PATH beneficiaries by increasing the amount of the subsidy; and bring additional vulnerable households into the PATH safety net.
Up to February this year 325,833 beneficiaries were selected and registered. There was a compliance rate of 81 per cent for education beneficiaries, while 90 per cent of children, zero to 11 months, were regularly seen at clinics. The new Beneficiary Management Identification System (BMIS) was launched and two sets of payment compliance reports have since been generated by the system.
Additionally, under the project to date, a Component Co-ordinator has been engaged to undertake activities under the nutrition component of the Nutrition Promotion Campaign and four health centres in Kingston, St. Andrew, and
St. Thomas were selected for the campaign. Further, service standards were developed to cut down the waiting period between application and first payment, and these standards are to be adopted by March 31 this year.
The disbursement of the first Performance Audit in May 2009 and the submission of built drawings for the relocation of the Kingston and St. Andrew office, along with the furniture plan for the office, are other achievements.
The project is slated to end in January next year.

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