JIS News

A number of troubled communities across the island are to benefit from several social intervention programmes designed to create employment and reduce crime and violence.
Development Minister, Dr. Paul Robertson, making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 12, said that several communities in St. James, St. Catherine and Kingston stood to benefit under the thrust.
He said that the Social Intervention Unit would be undertaking a detailed skills assessment in the targeted communities to match residents with job opportunities.
The Development Minister said that in St. James, some 2,000 residents will be surveyed and the results will inform the development of training and employment programmes to benefit 16,000 to 20,000 persons in that parish.
Other initiatives for the parish, will include the construction of a multi-purpose sporting facility, road, water supply and sewerage and solid waste management systems, and land tenure formalized in three communities.
Some 2,000 residents of volatile communities in Spanish Town will also be surveyed for participation in employment and skills training programmes. Through the World Bank-sponsored Inner City Basic Services Project, the government will be seeking to improve the social conditions in the communities of Tawes Pen/Ellerslie Pen, March Pen/Corletts Road, Railway Lane, Homestead, Lauristan and Lakes Pen.
Dr. Robertson said that the project, which will be implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), aimed to improve access to basic services including reliable water, sanitation, solid waste management, road infrastructure and related community-based services as required.
Meanwhile, for the Hannah Town community of Kingston, the government intends to formalize the relationship between entrepreneurs and the Micro Enterprise Finance Limited and facilitate the training of business operators in behaviour modification through linkages with the government’s values and attitudes programme.
He said that interventions would be maintained in certain eastern Kingston communities, which experienced recent upsurges in violence.
Dr. Robertson told the House, that the government has recognized the importance of the social intervention component to support the efforts of the security forces and in 2003, implemented the anticrime initiative in some volatile communities in the corporate area. He noted that the Development Division of the Ministry had been taking an in-depth look at the impact of the programme to see how better results could be achieved.
Part of the review, he said, would be to use the lessons from the successful social intervention programmes in the Grant’s Pen Community in North St. Andrew, which focused on behaviour change to achieve required results.