#Kingston, June 28, 2018 – Jamaica – A sum of $8.4 billion has been budgeted in the 2018/19 fiscal year to be spent on the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, made the disclosure during her contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 26. She informed that the Programme continues to target 360,000 Jamaicans who are poor and in need of assistance.
“In June 2017, there was a 30 per cent increase in the level of benefits paid to all categories of beneficiaries, which include children, pregnant and lactating mothers, the elderly and persons with disabilities,” Mrs. Robinson said.
The Minister noted that after 15 years of implementation of PATH, there is the need to reassess families to determine their progress and the need for continued participation in the Programme. Mrs. Robinson informed that the reassessment began in September of 2017 for some 11,000 PATH families who have been beneficiaries since 2002 and 2003.
“PATH is built on the premise that education and health are key components to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. The success of the Programme in achieving this objective is evidenced by the number of beneficiaries who excel in their educational pursuits and are now part of the labour market,” she noted.
She added that the Ministry is working to empower new families entering the programme to become independent of State assistance.
“We will achieve this through the Steps to Work Programme and more active case management,” Mrs. Robinson said.