Labour ministry distributes grants totalling $125.4 million
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security distributed grants totalling $125.4 million during the last financial year under its Rehabilitation Programme.
As contained in the ministry's annual performance report, a total of 5,183 persons benefited from the grants, which was 63.2 per cent of the programme's target for the year.
Of that number, 2,191 persons received compassionate grants totalling $54 million to assist with medical, funeral and other expenses, while 609 beneficiaries received grants amounting to $16 million to assist them in starting income-generating projects and to boost existing operations.
Additionally, 2,029 families received emergency relief assistance totalling $47.7 million; and 354 students received education and social-intervention grants amounting to $7.6 million.
The report noted that females accounted for 64.3 per cent of the total grant beneficiaries, an increase of 7.2 per cent over the previous period.
Meanwhile, the ministry is projecting to provide grants to 8,200 persons, who have met with some form of disaster during the current financial year, and assistance to 1,000 families affected by man-made disasters.
The ministry also indicates that it intends to develop and implement new training programmes in order to strengthen efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of the Rehabilitation Programme.
Officers will continue to receive training in shelter management and damage assessment through collaboration with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and Jamaica Red Cross.
An electronic register of persons who benefit from the programme is also to be maintained this fiscal year.
The rehabilitation programme was established by Cabinet in 1972 to provide assistance to individuals in need of social assistance for compassionate purposes or to improve their economic base through income-generating projects.
The initiative provides grants to persons who have exhibited self-supporting potential but are experiencing circumstances that prevent them from providing for their basic needs or that of their families.
It constitutes four types of grants - rehabilitation assistance; compassionate assistance; emergency assistance; and education and social intervention.
The programme includes the Short-Term Poverty-Intervention Project, implemented in 2013, which assists the needy when the country is affected by harsh economic conditions brought on by circumstances such as a national disaster.