The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has been allocated $1.85 billion, which is expected to aid in carrying out its 237 projects for this fiscal year.
The funds have been made available in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
The projects comprise social infrastructure, which will focus on the enhancement of 25 schools and two health centres, the implementation of eight water and 12 sanitation projects; and economic infrastructure, which will see to the rehabilitation of 25 roads and one market.
This is in addition to the 40 income-generating projects to be undertaken in the areas of agriculture and tourism; and 124 other community enhancement projects to be carried out.
At the end of December 2012, a total of 1,817 sub-projects were approved valued at approximately $9.516 billion. Of that number, 1,171 projects have been completed.
These activities form part of the administration’s Poverty Alleviation Programme, which has the objective to assist the Government in responding to the needs of the most vulnerable population groups in Jamaica.
This is being done through establishing an efficient and demand-driven mechanism to deliver basic services; providing resources to areas of basic, social and economic infrastructure and social services.
The programme also works to expand the Government’s institutional capacity to identify, implement, manage and sustain community-based sub-projects; and stimulate and enhance income-generating opportunities in agriculture and rural tourism.
It is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, European Union, International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
After several extensions, the programme, which originally started in 1996, is scheduled to end in March 2016.