A grant under the United Nation’s World Food Programme, (WFP) of a total of US$1.085 million will be distributed over three-month period to approximately 10,000 poor families in Jamaica who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The funds from the World Food Programme grant, will help families that aren’t eligible for the government’s Advancement Through Health and Education program (PATH). During the payout period, each qualified family will get $5,000 each month.

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.

Minister Samuda thanked the WFP for sharing the government’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us. He noted that the grant will assist with our comprehensive efforts to leverage adaptive social protection as the Government continue to implement the 2014 Jamaica Social Protection Strategy.

He also mentioned that the Government’s continuous relationship with the World Food Programme resulted in 11,300 disadvantaged households receiving food kits 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.

Mr. Samuda further stated that as a result of this collaboration, the Labour Ministry got equipment in February of this year to begin the automation of its Central Foods Warehouse’s inventory management system.

He noted that additionally, training and other technical assistance to implement the system has been beneficial. And adds that the initiative is most welcome as the Ministry seeks to move away from the use of manual systems and improve our systems of controls and accountability.