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IDB gives thumbs up to PATH's achievements

Friday, July 11, 2014    

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THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it is pleased with the achievements of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), to which the organisation has contributed US$145 million of loan financing over the past six years.

PATH — a conditional cash transfer Government programme which delivers social assistance benefits to the most needy in the society — is administered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in collaboration with the ministries of health and education and other agencies and funded by the IDB, the World Bank and other development partners.

"PATH remains aligned to one of the strategic priorities of the IDB that seeks to increase effectiveness of social policies, increase equality and reduce poverty and in parallel, improve productivity of member countries," said Donna Harris, social protection health specialist at the IDB.

Harris was addressing a PATH Top Achievers Award ceremony, celebrating beneficiaries' achievements in the Grade Six Achievement Test and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations.

The IDB, she said, will this year, celebrate 45 years of partnership with Jamaica and is proud to support projects that will protect the poor and vulnerable, promote human capital development and ultimately reduce poverty.

"We are also keen to continue working closely with the Government of Jamaica and stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation and long term sustainability of this initiative while leveraging technical expertise to support key areas that aim to support Jamaica's development goals," she said.

Noting that the IDB supported the research and knowledge agenda with grant financing to the tune of US$1.642 million that includes support to persons with disabilities, Harris said the focus is on supporting the labour ministry and PATH, partnering with the private sector to build strong linkages between social assistance and employment, improving human capital development outcomes and systems efficiencies.

"The IDB's support to PATH is geared towards protecting the poor and vulnerable, promoting human capital development and ultimately addressing and curtailing intergenerational cycle of poverty," Harris said.

She noted that the IDB's loan financing to the sector over the past six years was initially aimed at addressing the fall-out of the food price crisis and later, in response to the negative effects of the financial crisis on the poor and vulnerable.

Harris, meanwhile, commended the labour ministry and other public and private sector bodies for their contributions to PATH, noting that school performance is already being positively impacted and predicted that the labour market outcome for the awardees is likely to be vastly improved in the future.

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