JIS News

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  • Representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are currently in the island for a three-day study tour of the Government-run Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).
  • The six-member delegation, led by Mr. Alejandro Valencia, was welcomed to the island on August 20 by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier and other officials.
  • Several insightful presentations were made to the team on: Policy Framework for Social Protection in Jamaica; Technical & Operational Design of PATH; Case Management; and Social & Economic Inclusion for Persons With Disabilities.

Representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are currently in the island for a three-day study tour of the Government-run Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).

The six-member delegation, led by Mr. Alejandro Valencia, was welcomed to the island on August 20 by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier and other officials.

Addressing the team at the Jamaica Pegasus, in Kingston, Minister Kellier said their visit to Jamaica highlights the importance of the programme, which reflects the mantra of the administration – “to balance people’s lives as we balance the books, within the context of limited fiscal space.”

“I am thrilled that you have decided to visit Jamaica. Your visit underscores and validates the importance of the PATH programme as a credible strategy for reducing poverty,” he said.

The Minister also told the gathering that PATH should be viewed as a “hand up” and not a “hand out,” citing the programme’s welfare-to-work component that aims to position the beneficiaries to participate effectively in the labour market and contribute to the national growth agenda.

“One thousand families in the programme [are] participating in a phased implementation of a welfare-to-work programme, which is expected to cost approximately $600 million over the next two years,” Mr. Kellier noted.

Several insightful presentations were made to the team on: Policy Framework for Social Protection in Jamaica; Technical & Operational Design of PATH; Case Management; and Social & Economic Inclusion for Persons With Disabilities.

The OAS/CARICOM team is expected to continue its observation August 21, when members travel to the St. Mary local office. A call on the Abilities Foundation will conclude their final day on Friday, August 22.

It is the intention of members of the delegation to help implement similar social protection programmes in their home countries.  Members of the team are from Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.

PATH is a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme that provides benefits to over 370,000 Jamaicans in approximately 13,000 families. It is the largest social protection support system in the English speaking Caribbean.

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