J$2.0 Billion Disbursed to JEEP/JSIF Through PetroCaribe Development FundPress Releases — August 04, 2015
Since the Cabinet of Jamaica authorised the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF) in February 2012 to give support to the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), Two Billion Jamaican dollars has already been disbursed in financing. This was disclosed by Client Relations Manager at PDF Mrs. Shakierah Cowan at a JIS Think Tank (August 4).
The Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, JEEP, was developed to provide short term employment especially for Jamaicans at the lower socio-economic level. JEEP was not developed to provide a permanent fix to the challenge of unemployment facing the country but as an emergency response to assist in getting people working again.
Mrs. Cowan told JIS News that over the last two financial years this support has materialized itself into the provision of social benefits for the poor. She said there has been a concerted focus by the fund to provide housing units to the most disadvantaged members of the Jamaican society.
“We have delivered approximately 3,000 housing units through Food for the Poor and the JEEP Programme at an approximate cost of J$800 Million to date. This has been the major push of the PDF,” she said.
The PDF, she noted, has also given support to the Jamaica Social Investment fund (JSIF) to carry out its activities.
JSIF was established in 1996 as a component of the Government of Jamaica’s national poverty alleviation strategy, and it was designed primarily to channel resources to small-scaled community based projects.
One of the many projects receiving support from the PDF is a Sanitation programme to deliver flush toilets for schools still using pit latrines, a project Mrs Cowan says the PDF is quite satisfied with its progress. Approximately J$900 Million so far has already been allocated to that programme, she said.
“It’s a very good example of inter-agency partnership as it’s not just the PDF and JSIF but also involves the Ministry of Education. The sanitation programme is focussed on the primary and all-age schools island wide, and we are closely aligned to the policy of the Ministry in ensuring that public institutions that are to serve Jamaicans are at a certain minimum standard,” she noted.
Mrs. Cowan further stated that it was important that the PDF’s approach to the projects it funds is very targeted in the way its funds are utilized, as the resources available are not infinite.