The Government will be channeling an additional $1 billion into the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education ( 2020 PATH) to increase cash grants to beneficiaries.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, made the announcement as he closed the 2020/21 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 24.
He informed that persons who benefit from the 2020 PATH Programme are characterised by having income that is supplemented by various irregular flows, which are likely to be interrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Dr. Clarke said 2020 PATH beneficiaries would ordinarily receive a payment in April and a similar payment in June.
“In a response to the economic effects of the COVID pandemic, the Government will make an additional payment of a similar amount in May, which will have the effect of increasing by 50 per cent the aggregate amount that a 2020 PATH beneficiary would have ordinarily received during this period of April to June,” he stated.
Dr. Clarke stressed that the Government is committed to protecting the neediest people from the effects of COVID-19, adding that the intervention and fiscal measures must be implemented in a rules-based approach with equal opportunity among eligible beneficiaries.
“We will have to prioritise and channel our intervention, first, to the neediest segments of our society, whether individual or business. We expect those with personal and corporate reserves that are affected by the current crisis, to put those reserves to work. Those with undrawn lines of credit from financial institutions, and those with cash balances, we expect that the Government should not be your first call,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Finance and Public Service Minister said with several measures being implemented in support of workers and the small business sector, the Government will not put taxpayer dollars at risk without the prospect of a commensurate return.
He added that if it is necessary for the Government to invest, it will invest with the view of making a return.
“These principles will guide our approach to the targeted fiscal stimulus described and to any escalation of fiscal intervention that could become necessary in the future,” Dr. Clarke said.
MoEYI teams Up With restaurants, ODPEM To Distribute Food To 2020 PATH Students
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has reached agreements with Restaurant Associates of Jamaica, operators of the Burger King, Popeye’s and Little Caesars franchises and Restaurants of Jamaica, operators of KFC, to provide meals to students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH). The WYSINCO Group will also be providing cases of Freshhh Lite orange juice.Minister without portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, CD, MP
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has reached agreements with Restaurant Associates of Jamaica, operators of the Burger King, Popeye’s and Little Caesars franchises and Restaurants of Jamaica, operators of KFC, to provide meals to students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education ( 2020PATH). The WYSINCO Group will also be providing cases of Freshhh Lite orange juice.
Restaurant Associates will be assisting with the provision of snacks to the PATH students for six school days from Friday, March 20 to Friday, March 27, 2020. The meals will comprise 24,000 KING SWISS sandwiches – with 4,000 being provided each day for six days, starting today, and continuing next Monday to Friday, March 23-27, 2020.
Additionally, 64 cases of scholastic toys (12,800 units) will be donated for the week of March 23-27, 2020.
At the same time, KFC will provide one meal (a one piece box meal) for 600 PATH beneficiaries. This will be distributed equally among the Ministry’s six Regions – 100 meals per Region. KFC will provide the Ministry with 600 vouchers for distribution on March 20, 2020. The Regional Directors will decide on the schools/students to benefit as well as distribution points.
Minister with Responsibility for Education, Hon. Karl Samuda has welcomed the outpouring of support from members of the private sector.
“We are thankful for this massive show of kindness. As a government we know that it can be challenging for our most vulnerable to provide proper nutrition to students at this time. These partnerships will benefit thousands of our students,” said Minister Samuda.
The Ministry of Education has also partnered with ODPEM to create distribution sites for the provision of meals for the students. On the recommendation of ODPEM, with the support of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, all the main churches in each district in each parish will be used as distribution sites. These sites are referred to as the Adventist Development Relief Centres.
Nutrition Products Limited will continue to distribute their snacks of baked products, ready-made porridge, lactose free milk, juice and water to primary schools to augment the partnerships outlined above.
Deliveries will be sent to each drop off point no more than twice per week. The distribution points will be the Adventist Development Relief Centres (ADRC) – the main church in each district of the Seventh Day Adventist and the schools in some instances. The Regional Directors, in collaboration with principals, will decide on the final distribution point for each school.