PNP Women's Movement calls for national relief campaign

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PNP Women's Movement calls for national relief campaign

Sunday, April 05, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) Women's Movement says the thousands of workers who lost their jobs in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis, especially mothers with young children, must be told how to access urgent and critical state support.

PNPWM president Jennifer Edwards in a release issued today (April 5) said many of these people, employed as domestic helpers, manual labourers and store clerks have been separated from their jobs and have no other source of support.

“These persons were barely existing on the minimum wage and they cannot be left languishing because they do not understand the bureaucratic process to access the promised relief. The Government needs to immediately launch a national campaign to make public when, where and how persons in need of assistance with basic food can get access,” Edwards said.

She said the cry is also great among the self-employed who have relied on buying and selling, people who operated small businesses such as cook shops and or bars, taxi drivers, people who sell at their gates, as well people who work as bartenders and cashiers.

“The majority of these persons live day to day, dependent on the little they earn to feed their children. One week without support is not just an emergency, it is a major disaster in their circumstances,” Edwards pointed out.

While recognizing and supporting the importance of preventing death from the COVID-19, she said as much effort should also be placed on preventing death from starvation.

“The Government must publish telephone numbers that work for those in need to call for, and receive help. They must also publish the requirements and mechanisms for persons to get the $4,500 per week grant, the food packages from the Ministry of Labour and other entities together with any other benefits. This information should be the subject of a public education drive similar to that of the health campaign for the coronavirus.The poor, the elderly and persons with physical disabilities should not have to be searching for information at this critical time,” she said.

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