Labour Ministry Ramps Up Public Assistance

Jamaica News: The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has ramped up its public assistance activities to aid Jamaicans who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Manager for Disaster Rehabilitation and Welfare in the Public Assistance Division, Jacqueline Shephard, told JIS News that in its role as first responder, the Ministry has been providing essential items to families and vulnerable groups.

A critical activity is providing food items to persons in quarantine.

The Ministry’s food delivery programme has benefited residents of the communities of Seven and Eight Miles in Bull Bay, St. Andrew; Corn Piece Settlement, Clarendon; and the parish of St. Catherine, which were placed under quarantine as part of containment activities to prevent further transmission of the virus.

Ms. Shephard said the Ministry conducts weekly deliveries of food and sanitation items to households to facilitate strict enforcement of the Government’s quarantine protocols.

“We also seek to ascertain if there are any other needs, in which case we will trigger the other relevant agencies to assist,” she noted.

The Ministry is also responsible for preparing a budget for the payment of grants to victims, based on assessments. The budget is submitted to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for approval and disbursement of funds.

The Ministry’s assistance extends to vulnerable groups, such as persons with disabilities, who are experiencing difficulties at this time.

“We are not just providing for persons in quarantine. There is also emphasis on the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), as well as the elderly and just about anybody else who has expressed a need… . We investigate the reported cases and assist all who are in need,” she explained.

Persons in need of assistance are encouraged to use the drop boxes installed at the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.

For more information, persons can also contact the Labour Division at (876) 922-9500 – 14 or the Social Security Division at (876) 922-8000 -13.


Source: JIS News

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