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More than 3,000 Jamaicans will benefit from assistance to access birth certificates under a partnership between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).

The support falls under the Integrated Community Development Project – 11 (ICDP – 11), which is being implemented by JSIF through funding from the World Bank.

Some 6,000 undocumented Jamaicans were able to acquire their birth certificates under phase one of the programme, which began in 2017.

Seven communities have been targeted for assistance under this new phase. They are August Town, Greenwich Town and Denham Town in St. Andrew; Treadlight in Clarendon; Salt Spring and Anchovy in St. James; and another community to be named.

JSIF has allocated $12 million for the undertaking, with $6.4 million to be paid directly to the RGD, and the remainder will be used to finance key components of the project, which include a social survey, community fairs and the establishment of contact points in the beneficiary communities.

General Manager for Finance at JSIF, Orville Hill, said that the programme has allowed the agency to see, first-hand, the importance of having a birth certificate, noting that the document provides persons with access to myriad social services.

“The glee in the eyes of persons who have lived for many years undocumented and unable to access basic amenities when they finally hold this document in their hands is reason enough for us to continue this very impactful project,” he noted.

Mr. Hill was speaking at the signing ceremony held at JSIF’s location in Kingston on Wednesday (November 25).
Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Keeper of Records, RGD, Charlton McFarlane, for his part, noted that it is important for Jamaicans to have a birth certificate.

He said that the document “opens doors for social and economic mobility and enables persons to access jobs, social support and educational opportunities”.

The ICDP aims to promote public safety and transformation through the delivery of basic infrastructure and social services within 18 communities across seven parishes in Jamaica. These are Clarendon, Kingston, St Andrew, St Ann, St. Catherine, St. James and Westmoreland.

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