Last week, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) provided an update to the public on the progress of its COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund, a partnership with the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), United Way of Jamaica (UWJ), American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) and others. It is a carefully targeted fund that aims to provide resources for the most vulnerable individuals and communities that are feeling the pressures of COVID-19. Now the awesome Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force are helping in the distribution of food and prepared food to the needy.
Roll-out Of The Relief Programme From The PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund Begins
Kingston, Jamaica: The PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund is beginning its resource allocation and distribution phase. The fund, which has so far received $110M in pledges, is a multi-sector partnership established in April 2020 with an initial target of $250m for the purpose of mobilizing and distributing resources towards the protection and welfare of Jamaican families. The fund is spearheaded by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), in collaboration with the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), United Way of Jamaica (UWJ), American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) along with other partners from the public and private sector as well as civil society.
In conjunction with the Mona GeoInformatics Institute, an initial assessment of the risk profile of communities across Jamaica was conducted. This assessment utilized 22 data sets, including crime, health, unemployment, poverty, density, and access to services amongst others.
Based on this analysis, the first five communities selected for relief have been identified. This list was recommended for approval by the PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund Relief Allocation Committee, made up of representatives from the Ministries of Health and Wellness; Labour and Social Security; Local Government and Community Development; and Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport as well as civil service organisations such as Food for the Poor; the Jamaica Red Cross and the Council of Voluntary Social Services.
BENEFICIARIES WITHIN SELECT COMMUNITIES
The PSOJ COVID-19 Relief Programme will channel resources towards two groups:
At-risk populations – those over 65, those with underlying health issues, mobility issues and overall increased risk levels. Aid for this group will be in the form of the delivery of food packages and prepared meals where necessary.
The purpose of this aid is two-fold in that it seeks to provide relief for those who are unable to adequately meet their food needs and secondly, to stem the exposure of at-risk individuals to the COVID-19 virus, in order to curtail the likelihood of severe illness which would cause excess strain on the health system.
Displaced communities – This refers to individuals residing in communities with a high level of unemployment (both historical and recent), decreased economic activity and increased food insecurity. Aid provided to this group will include food packages and food kitchens delivered via central locations within the community.
The Fund has partnered with two key stakeholders, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) who are leading on the logistics and preparation of delivery aid and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) who are leading the distribution and delivery of supplies to the beneficiaries with the support of other community partners and volunteers.
Regular updates about the progress of the fundraising efforts and the use of the funds will be available on the website of the PSOJ.
The PSOJ and partners are pleased to respond in an integrated and collaborative way to the challenges facing our fellow citizens at this very difficult time, and are confident that these efforts will bring much-needed relief to these targeted communities – as #TogetherWeWill overcome COVID.
How to Donate:
Donations can be made through the CVSS Account at National Commercial Bank (NCB) Chequing account number 061052429 or in USD through the CVSS account at JMMB – 006000181484
If you are overseas or would like to donate using your credit card, visit www.theafj.org. Alternatively, US-based cheques may also be sent to the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) so long as the purpose of the donation is noted on the document. Once donations are channelled through AFJ, companies and individuals based in the US will be able to receive the added benefit of a 501 c (3) tax allowance.