Kingston, Jamaica, January 20, 2017 – The Social Development Commission (SDC) has secured $5.1 million under the Government of Jamaica Administrative Grant Fund for some 170 community development committees (CDCs) across Jamaica. This was disclosed by Executive Director of the SDC, Dr. Dwayne Vernon, as he addressed a recent JIS Think Tank. The grant is a dedicated source of funding available to all CDCs to be used for administrative support, once they meet the established criteria. Dr. Vernon said the money, which was disbursed up to December 31, 2016, was used to help the groups to strengthen their administrative capabilities and undertake measures to increase “people participation” in their community.
He informed that another 178 applications are being processed for grant assistance under the Governance Capacity Grant Fund (GCGF). He said that $1 million is to be disbursed “so they can implement projects they believe can strengthen their organisation, consistent with the themes of the SDC.” Governance structures can access funds under the GCGF to improve their sustainability and viability, to make more effective and meaningful contribution to parish and national development.
Dr. Vernon also disclosed that the SDC is taking steps to introduce a grant facility to support new small and micro-enterprises. This facility, he said, will be implemented through the Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP) and will have specific focal points to aid and support the beneficiaries into a stronger operational position. “We’re going to be putting in place this grant facility and we’re very confident that this will happen. The facility will… allow them to strengthen their productive base and also to support their registration. We also want to support them with money to help them to take their products to market,” he indicated.
Meanwhile, Dr. Vernon informed that the SDC has relaunched 19 community groups, bringing the total number of active bodies to 577 island wide. “We have strengthened 193 of the 577 community groups through the implementation of training strategies to enhance their community operations,” he said.
Photo credit: Jamaica Observer