JIS News

The Social Safety Net, known as the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), has been allotted $1.1 billion in the 2004/05 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The funds are aimed at establishing a Management Information System to support the efficient management of the programme; conduct periodic Operational Audits to verify the targeting and compliance process and conducting training of the staff at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to improve institutional strengthening.
Other anticipated physical targets are the making of monthly payments to approximately 236,000 eligible beneficiaries, implementation of an electronic payment system, reduce non-compliance of PATH beneficiaries to 10 per cent and contract a communication/liaison officer.
Established in February 2002, the project has to up to December 2003 achieved the following: completed the pilot project in St. Catherine where 6,500 beneficiaries were selected to receive benefits, islandwide target and enrolment, which commenced in April 2002.
Some 80,000 families were selected to receive benefits under PATH. The first islandwide payment was made in December 2002 to approximately 32,000 families, this represents 102,000 individuals; the second islandwide payment was made in February 2003 to approximately 40,465 families, this represents 128,221 individuals.
In December 2003, approximately 156,835 individuals received payment. Meanwhile, 80 sensitization and training sessions were conducted with the relevant stakeholders, an evaluation of the St. Catherine pilot project was completed in February 2003.
A contract for Operational Audits was also signed in October 2003, the first Eligibility Audit commenced in November 2003 and 13 terrain vehicles equipped with public address systems were purchased for the parishes.
The Government of Jamaica and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development are funding the project. Some of the objectives of the project are to support Government’s effort to transform the programme into a more efficient system of social assistance for the poor and the vulnerable and to provide better and more cost-effective social assistance to the extreme poor.

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