Jamaica AIDS Support for Life Stands with Foor for the Poor

Last week, Members of Parliament cast aspersions on houses provided to impoverished Jamaicans by the charity Food for the Poor, at a sitting of the Infrastructure and Physical Development Committee, chaired by Mikael Phillips – who has since apologised. Prime Minister Andrew Holness met with Food for the Poor’s Chairman and Deputy Chairman today to try to pour oil on troubled waters, confirming his support and distancing himself from the MPs’ remarks. Food for the Poor has done so much for the most vulnerable Jamaicans over the years, not only in the provision of housing.

Chairman of Food for the Poor Jamaica, Andrew Mahfood.

Many in Jamaican civil society were very disturbed by the accusations. Jamaica AIDS Support for Life has stepped up in support of Food for the Poor, with whom it has partnered on numerous occasions. Here is their press release: 

 

Jamaica AIDS Support for Life Stands with Foor for the Poor

(Kingston, Jamaica) May 29, 2017 – Jamaica AIDS Support for Life wishes to go on record to publicly lend its support to the Food for Poor, as well as challenge recent claims made by Members of Parliament Mikael Phillips and Leslie Campbell. Over the years, the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life has often partnered with Food for the Poor for access to housing solutions for clients most vulnerable. To date, there have been no complaints regarding the quality of the houses provided.

Since its inception in 1991, the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life has been supporting those most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS through prevention, public education, and access to medication and other support services. The cyclical nature and inverse relationship between HIV prevalance and socioeconomic status has been observed to affect those at the lower socio-economic strata, when one examines levels of education, poverty, annual household income, employment, and homeless status.

It is on that basis that Food for the Poor must be congratulated for its work and support to the poorest Jamaicans over the years. Since being founded in 1982, Food for the Poor has constructed over 42,000 housing units for beneficiaries in need of housing solutions, among whom are persons living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. The organization has also distributed containers of aid to the poor; supported hospitals, hospice care and other HIV/AIDS facilities throughout the Caribbean region by providing food, medicine, medical equipment, personal care items, furniture, and medical supplies.

The Jamaica AIDS Support welcomes the Prime Minister’s support for Food for the Poor; and urges Members of Parliament to be cautious in their criticisms and demonstrate greater levels of gratitude. We also make a call for the Government of Jamaica to implement increased and improved social protection and housing solutions for Jamaica’s most vulnerable.

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JASL is the oldest and largest AIDS-focused, human rights, non-governmental organisation in Jamaica and Caribbean. It is dedicated to preserving the dignity and rights of persons living with HIV and AIDS. http://www.jasforlife.org

Media Contact:

Mickel Jackson
Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, 53 Enfield DriveKingston 20
Email: mjacksonjasl@gmail.com Tel: 875-0787

Yvonne Reid and Ernest Clarke are all smiles as they stand in front of their new house, built by Food for the Poor. (Photo: Jermaine Barnaby/Gleaner)

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