10,000 families locally to benefit from US$1m international food grant | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News

Approximately 10,000 poor families that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in Jamaica are to benefit from the disbursement of just over US$1 million over a three-month period.

The funds, which have been provided through a grant under the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), are to support families that are not beneficiaries of the Government’s Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

Each qualified family will receive $5,000 per month over the disbursement period.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Karl Samuda was presented with a symbolic cheque by Head of Office at WFP, Regis Chapman, during a brief ceremony at the New Kingston offices of the National Insurance Fund (NIF) on Tuesday, November 16.

“We thank the WFP for sharing the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the most vulnerable among us are taken care of,” said Samuda.

He added that the grant will “assist with our comprehensive efforts to leverage adaptive social protection as we continue to implement the 2014 Jamaica Social Protection Strategy.”

He noted that the Government’s ongoing partnership with WFP also saw 11,300 poor families benefiting from food kits which were distributed in July and August 2021.

“The packages included rice, oats, pasta, salt, cooking oil and black beans, and assisted with supplementing the food needs of the recipients and alleviated some of the hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Samuda further indicated that through the collaboration, the Labour Ministry also received equipment in February this year to commence the automation of the inventory management system of its Central Foods Warehouse.

“Additionally, we are benefiting from training and other technical assistance to implement this system. This is a most welcome initiative as we seek to move away from the use of manual systems and improve our systems of controls and accountability,” he said.

The WFP has also donated 40 tablets to the Labour Ministry to facilitate the automation of its data collection in the field.

“This will go a far way in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations and enable us to better serve our clients and other stakeholders,” the minister said.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, I would like to express sincerest gratitude to the WFP and look forward to a productive partnership going forward,” Samuda added.

The world’s largest humanitarian organisation, the WFP works in more than 80 countries saving and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies, and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.