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    • The Government has allocated US$50 million to the JEEP component of MIDP.
    • The JEEP/MIDP Programme will focus on small projects primarily engaging grade three and four contractors.
    • The Government is aiming to employ 20,000 persons under the JEEP component of MIDP, which was launched in March.

    The Government has allocated US$50 million to the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) component of the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).

    “It is often the case that you have these major investments in roadways, and people in the communities do not feel a sense of being involved or that they are benefitting from these works,” said Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, in explaining the sum allotted to JEEP.

    He informed that the JEEP/MIDP Programme will focus on small projects primarily engaging grade three and four contractors. All 63 Members of Parliament have been asked to submit projects.

    Dr. Davies said the Government is aiming to employ 20,000 persons under the JEEP component of MIDP, which was launched in March.

    The Minister was making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday, May 14.

    Dr. Davies outlined that a total of J$1.6 billion will be spent on infrastructure projects of which J$630 million is to be spent in all constituencies.
    “I cannot honestly recall a programme implemented by any administration which has had a greater buy-in by Members of Parliament,” Dr. Davies said of JEEP.

    Launched in 2012, JEEP is the flagship initiative of the Government of Jamaica, to address unemployment, particularly among Jamaicans in the lower socio-economic bracket, as well as persons with special needs, low skill levels, and those from under-served communities.

    Dr. Davies said up to March 31, a total of 44,255 persons were employed under the programme.

    He also noted that the programme has stretched beyond what was conceptualised, pointing out that $410 million is to be spent this year on the construction of 1,200 wooden housing units island-wide.  This project is being funded by the PetroCaribe Fund.

    The Minister also announced that the Recycle Now (PET) Bottle Recycling Project, which was launched in February as another JEEP initiative, is expected to employ a minimum of 300 persons while generating foreign exchange.

    Bottles made of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are typically used to store liquids such as water, soft drinks, motor oil, and cooking oil, among other substances.

    The Minister noted that the government will provide $50 million per year, over the life of the three year project, while the private sector will also contribute $23.75 million annually, over the period.

    “It will, hopefully, lead to the reclamation of 35 per cent of PET bottles,” Dr. Davies said, pointing out that every major user of PET bottles is on board with the project.