Beneficiaries of the government’s Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) are to receive financial assistance as a part of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s COVID-19 Multi Partners Trust Fund (MPTF).
Approximately 2,700 families across Jamaica will benefit from the UN’s donation of 1 Million and of that US$600,000 is to be allocated to social protection and the vulnerable.
The grant was created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations with concerns about the socio-economic impact of the virus.
The UN notes that focus cannot be only on the health interventions but on a larger basis. For example, people who lost jobs, what happens to the families? Children who couldn’t go to school? Lots of women or children are going to be exploited because there is no access to good employment or good education.
UN’s resident coordinator, Mariko Kagoshima said “there are two interventions. One is to top up the current PATH programme amount for three months. Those families receiving PATH programmes are going to receive top-up so that they can cope for the immediate impact of the COVID. We are focusing on families with children with disabilities and also mothers with very small children who are already in the PATH programme.”
The resident coordinator also noted that the second intervention will focus on providing support to 1,000 female farmers, arguing that they are the ones who are having the most difficulties finding customers and therefore connecting the produce from farmers to PATH beneficiaries.
Now the remaining US$400,000 is to be used for health intervention such as the immediate procurement of equipment and to maintain basic health services on the island.
Kagoshima added that “the UN has been working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we were given the four specific areas to work on: health, education, social protection, and food security. So when we were given this opportunity to participate in the MPTF we decided along this line and I hope this amount will be used quickly and help the beneficiaries to support their recoveries.”
The donations were accepted by Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith.