The GraceKennedy Foundation has donated J$2 million to the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund, a multi-sectoral partnership, mobilizing and distributing resources towards the protection and welfare of the citizens of Jamaica primarily through two key areas – food security and health services. The funds have been earmarked to purchase 3D printers and supplies to support the Citizens Response Jamaica initiative (CRJ), founded by a group of concerned Jamaicans, to create personal protective equipment and repair medical equipment in Jamaica. Read more
The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica has so far raised more than $80 million through the PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund. The Fund is a multi-sectoral, private, public and social services initiative done in partnership with the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), United Way of Jamaica (UWJ), American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) and other key stakeholders. It aims to raise an initial target of $250 million, to aid in Jamaica’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. UWJ Chairperson Dr Marcia Forbes, says her organization is committed to partnering with the PSOJ to ensure this initiative helps to bolster the support Jamaica needs to successfully counter the effects of COVID-19. Dr Forbes praised the PSOJ leadership for bringing key partners together for the PSOJ/COVID-19 relief initiative. “This global crisis affects us all and requires a united effort to bring urgent and impactful relief,” said Dr Forbes. She explained that UWJ is using its partnerships and network to disburse the Fund to organisations that will provide at-risk groups with resources. “The mission of the United Way of Jamaica, an organization established 35 years ago with the support of the PSOJ, is to mobilize the caring power of communities. Our volunteer leaders working with the PSOJ team and partners, bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in mobilizing and managing funds and undertaking strategic interventions to bring relief and assist in rehabilitation and restoration in times of disaster.” Another key partner, the CVSS, is focused on ensuring that the campaign operates efficiently to facilitate the greatest level of success in meeting the needs of Jamaicans. CVSS Chairperson, Saffrey Brown noted that it will be leveraging the support of its membership of 125 organisations to mobilise their efforts in handling the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Jamaica. As a member of The Fund’s Allocation..Read More
The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) strongly supports the Government of Jamaica’s decision to access the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The IMF’s RFI is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without having a full-fledged program in place, ongoing reviews or conditionalities. The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a negative impact on the country and there is no doubt that Jamaica will continue to experience a sharp decline in FX earnings. Tourism is a key economic driver and is one of Jamaica’s primary earners of foreign exchange. For FY18/19, the overall US$3.2b visitor expenditure accounted for approximately 36% of Jamaica’s foreign exchange inflows. With a halt in the industry due to the COVID-19 virus spread and an anticipated reduction in remittance (remittance inflows of US$2.7b contributed to 30% of total flows for FY18/19), the country’s FX earnings will be negatively impacted which would be offset by lower imports and reduced prices for oil. This reduction in FX will put pressure on the country’s external accounts and consequently the Net International Reserves. The Government’s request to access the IMF RFI should help to mitigate or cushion the impact of the open-ended nature of the pandemic and its economic spillovers which poses significant risk to Jamaica’s balance of payments which could reverse the macroeconomic stability achieved over the past 7 years. The organisation therefore believes that requesting access to the RFI is a prudent and proactive strategy by the Government as Jamaica experiences fallout in the economy resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue our discussion of leadership during the outbreak of COVID-19 this time with a focus on the private sector and the efforts of the private sector organization of Jamaica attempts to raise $250m through donations from individuals and corporations for the provision of food security and health services. To discuss the efforts of the umbrella group we are joined by the President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, Keith Duncan and Saffrey Brown Chairperson for the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS).
Private and corporate donors committed over J$40 million in the past two weeks to the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) COVID19 Jamaica Response Fund. Encouraging other Jamaicans here and overseas to contribute, PSOJ President Keith Duncan said, “We’re pleased with the support we have received so far and thank the donors for their proactive response and contribution to helping us to get closer to achieving our overall target.” The Fund will seek to tackle food insecurity and boost health services during the COVID-19 outbreak. A key PSOJ partner, the Council of Voluntary Social Services, will coordinate those efforts. “We’re all negatively impacted by the spread of the virus,” said Duncan. “But even the smallest donation will help national efforts to minimize the spread of the virus, soften the economic impact and save the lives of our citizens.” He welcomed United Way of Jamaica to the group of private, public and social sector partners leading the charge to raise J$250 Million Dollars. An affiliate of United Way Worldwide, UWJ is a registered Charitable Organization that has mobilized more than $2Billion in resources since its establishment in 1985. The PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund is open to members of the Jamaican Public and the Diaspora to contribute. Thanks to a partnership with American Friends of Jamaica, donations are being sought internationally. AFJ has offered its donation platform so donors can contribute funds via credit card and wire transfer. US based cheques may also be sent to AFJ if the purpose of the donation is duly noted on the document. US based companies and individuals who channel donations through AFI get the added benefit of a 501 c(3) tax allowance. Locally, persons or companies who want to do wire transfers are asked to do so through the CVSS Account at National Commercial Bank Chequing account number 061052429. Alternately, companies and/or individuals can use the CVSS USD account at JMMB – 006000181484.