JIS News

The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has identified a number of communities in St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. James where social improvement programmes will be implemented soon, under a new JSIF project known as the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project (ICBSP).
Communities to benefit from the ICBSP programme in the four targeted parishes are Whitfield Town, Dunkirk, Jones Town and Federal Gardens in Kingston and St. Andrew; Tawes Pen, Africa, Detroit, Big Lane, Little Lane, Shelter Rock, Andrews Lane, Lauriston and Bog Walk in St. Catherine; Bucknor/Rectory Lands in Clarendon; and Flankers in St. James.
The ICBSP programme continues in the vein of other social assistance programmes implemented by JSIF, where the social and economic infrastructure of underserved Jamaican communities are improved through the Fund’s intervention.
According to the JSIF’s annual report, which was presented at the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, October 5 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, the project is designed to improve access to basic and socio-economic infrastructure for residents within the targeted communities.
“The project proposes to improve access to water and sanitation, to improve waste collection and lighting, to rehabilitate public spaces and recreation areas; and to implement anti crime and violence initiatives,” the report said.
Funding for the ICBSP programme will come from a $310 million (US$5 million) loan agreement that JSIF has with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and a $40.3 million (US$650,000) grant from the Government of Japan. In addition to undertaking the ICBSP programme, the report informed that JSIF was currently exploring the ‘Programa Puente’ methodology of implementing its own social programmes in Jamaica. ‘Programa Puente’ is based on a Chilean model for poverty alleviation that focuses on alleviation at the family level as opposed to the traditional community level focus.
The report described the Chilean model as “an integral intervention programme designed to give psychosocial support to families that live in conditions of extreme poverty”.
The methodology of ‘Programa Puente’ promotes the development of initiatives for the improvement of the participating families’ standard of living and eventual integration into the network of social services that are at their disposal.
“A key element of the programme is that participating families agree to achieve certain basic/minimum conditions aimed at improving their quality of life in the areas of identification, health, education, income, family dynamics and employment,” the report outlined.
For the company’s 2004/2005 financial year, JSIF approved 158 projects at a cost of $393 million. During the year, 58 projects were completed at a cost of $196 million. The Fund’s total disbursement on sub-project expenditure for the financial year amounted to $553 million.