The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is to investigate whether resources being channeled into existing welfare programmes are achieving maximum results.
Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, told the launch of the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Tuesday November 23, that a review of the programmes has become necessary.
He explained that a continuous increase in resources to programmes, such as the Programme for Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) and the School Feeding Programme, was not sustainable.
Prime Minister, Hon Bruce Golding (right), interacts with (left-right) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative, Akiko Fuji; UNDP Resident Representative, Minh Pham; and Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, at the launch of the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2008 and 2009, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, on Tuesday (November 23).
“I want to see whether or not we shouldn’t revisit the programmes, to determine whether we do not need to create within the programme an element that is intended to improve income earning capability, to help the beneficiaries, not just to send their children to school, but to see to what extent we can empower them in such a way that they don’t need to stay on the programme,” he stated.
He noted that, in the past three years, there has been a 75 percent increase in the budget for PATH, and a 130 percent increase for the School feeding programme.
Commenting on the Survey of Living Conditions, he said the results were “disappointing, but not surprising”, especially those findings relating to poverty.
He said the Government was concerned about the increase in poverty levels from just over 12 percent in 2008 to16 and a half percent in 2009, but that it was expected, given the impact of the global recession.
Prime Minister, Hon Bruce Golding (right), is presented with copies of the 2008 and 2009 Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions by Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, at the launch of the documents at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, on Tuesday (November 23). The United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report 2010 was also launched at the event dubbed ‘The Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development’.
“It is a matter of concern to us, not only because it is reversing what was a welcome direction in which the poverty line was moving, but it has significantly eroded and set back the efforts that we were making to achieve our Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within the time that has been set,” he explained.
However, he said the country was still within the margin to be able to achieve the MDGs.
The function was put on by the PIOJ, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The function themed ‘The Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development’, was a joint launch of the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions 2008 and 2009, and the UNDP’s Human Development Report (HDR) 2010, the 20th Anniversary Edition.
The HDR this year reaffirmed human development, reviewed key trends in human development over the last 40 years, updated the Human Development Index (HDI), outlined new human development measures and examined the policy implications.
Resident Representative of the UNDP, Minh Pham, said Jamaica’s performance in the 2010 HDR indicates that progress is possible without massive resources.