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Thursday, July 13, 2006 

Ministry of Labour & Social Security

PATH has Become Model for Other Countries
Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Progamme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), has become a model for other countries.
This was noted by Labour and Social Security Minister, Derrick Kellier, who pointed out that since 2005 the World Bank and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), have sent national delegations from South Africa, Belize, Suriname, the Bahamas and Kenya to study the Jamaican system.

Mr. Kellier, who was making his contribution to the 2006/07 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (July 11) said, having passed the June 30 end date of the World Bank loan, the government was negotiating an extension from the Bank to February 2008, to successfully complete all project activities by August 2007 and wrap-up by February 2008.

The Programme, which has been allocated some $1.1 billion for this fiscal year, is aimed at supporting efforts to transform the Social Safety Net (SSN) into a fiscally sound and more efficient system of social assistance for the poor and vulnerable, as well as to provide better and more cost-effective social assistance to the very poor.

PATH will also see to the consolidation of major income transfer programmes into a unified programme that ensures meaningful levels of benefits; cost-efficient and accessible delivery system, and access to benefits linked to desirable behaviour changes for promoting investment in human capital and development of the poor, especially children.
The programme aims to increase educational achievement and improve health; reduce child labour by requiring an 85 per cent school attendance; reduce current poverty by increasing the value of benefits to the poor and serve as a safety net for poor families.
Under the programme, assistance is extended to: children up to 17 years; persons over 65 years; pregnant and lactating women; persons with disabilities; and other poor adults. The programme was taken islandwide in 2002, with 102,000 beneficiaries, totalling 30,000 families. It is funded by the Jamaican Government and the World Bank.

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