The Government’s drive to reduce the country's poverty level has been advanced with an allocation of $18 million for the Social Protection Support to Food Price Crisis project, in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, has the objective to contribute to the Government’s strategy to reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty by increasing human capital levels of the poor, through further consolidation of its Social Safety Net Reform Programme.
Specific objectives of the project are to increase the welfare of PATH beneficiaries by increasing the amount of subsidy and incorporate additional vulnerable households to the PATH safety net; and to increase human capital levels of poor families through attendance at school and health clinics.
Physical achievements up to March 2012 included the completion of a Coping Strategies Study on the survival of PATH families; relocation of the Kingston and
St. Andrew local office; completion of production on a docudrama on teenage pregnancy and lactating campaign; and collected baseline data on the Nutrient Supplementation Evaluation.
For 2012 to 2013, it is expected that the technical and administrative capacity of PATH’s central and parish offices will be strengthened to improve programme management and efficiency and quality of the services delivered to beneficiaries. Support will also be given for a Comprehensive Nutrition Promotion Campaign and related activities.
Additionally, during the period, audits are to be performed to verify triggers in disbursements. There will also be an outreach for pregnant and lactating women; and support will be provided for the relocation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Kingston and St. Andrew parish office.
The original duration of the project was from January 2009 to January 2011, but was further extended from February 2011 to August 2012.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter