The People’s National Party (PNP) recently called out the government for allegedly using monies designated to assist Jamaican students escape from Ukraine to reimburse itself for costs incurred in bringing the students home. President Mark Golding asked for the funds to be returned. Back in February when over 20 Jamaican students were trapped in war torn Ukraine the People’s National Party (PNP) launched a 10 thousand dollar fund to help with transportation, food or other necessities.

However it has come to light that the money never reached the students and the government instead reimbursed themselves as shared by PNP President Mark Golding. Since that February ordeal the students have been battling to get back on their feet, seeking ways to rebuild after the physically and mentally taxing experience. Many were looking forward to the government’s assistance in continuing their education.

The Opposition Leader strongly objected to how the funds were used and through discussions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has agreed to return the money to the PNP who will use it for the benefit of the students. Meantime, in a statement the government says they’ve taken steps to return the funds, but clarifies the urgency of the situation required the urgent repatriation of the students. The JLP says it “acted on the guidance of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in depositing the funds to its account as ‘appropriations-in-aid’ for the intended purpose, in keeping with the financial regulations of the public service of Jamaica.”

The government says “notwithstanding Golding’s change of intention regarding the use of the funds, the communication accuses the government of improper usage of the donation. Accordingly, the Government has decided that the funds be returned to the leader of the opposition at the earliest, to facilitate their use as best determined by him.”

Reporter: Jhanielle Powell