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SHARING THE LOVE: Noel Holmes gets equipment

Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.

00:00 / 04:55

Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service

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News for Week of April 16, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

OCT-DEC 2022

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NIDS gains momentum as Jamaicans show their support

With the assistance of 300 Jamaican volunteers, the NIDS Project is beginning a new phase of testing the national identification card application and issuance procedures. On April 4, 2023, when volunteers were invited to sign up for participation at www.nidsfacts.com, the desired quota was surpassed in less than 24 hours.

The new national identification card and the post-technical pilot phase, the last step before the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) is established to oversee the national identification services, were both subjects of appreciation from Floyd Green, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Pre-enrolment, online enrolment, queue management, and identity management are just a few of the systems that the Project Executing Unit (PEU) and PBS Consortium have successfully integrated. As the last line of defence for cardholders, the system may now personalise national identification cards with digital certificates.

The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and the National Identification and Registration Inspectorate (NIRI) governance and support structures are also being established by the Office of the Prime Minister.

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MAY-JUN 2022

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It's for you; accept it, security minister tells wards

Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of National Security, is urging young offenders to make the most of the chances for skill development and empowerment offered by the We Transform Youth Empowerment and Reintegration Programme.

Minister Chang stated that the scheme is a part of the government's strategy to include young offenders in worthwhile, productive pursuits to enable their successful reintegration into society. He was speaking on April 13 to wards at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Facility in St Catherine.

“The Ministry’s We Transform programme is designed to provide young men like yourself with a second opportunity,” he said.

Dr. Chang was participating in a ceremony for the handover of appliances by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to the St. Catherine-based institution. The items, valued at about $1.2 million, included a six-burner industrial stove and a 65” smart television. The TEF also donated a refrigerator and a double bed to the South Camp Juvenile Correctional Centre in Kingston.

Executive Director of the TEF, Dr. Carey Wallace, encouraged the young men to harness all they can from the opportunities provided through We Transform to make a positive impact on the country and the world. “In you, there is the potential to transform this country…With the right attitude with the right focus you can make a difference and I encourage you so to do,” he said.

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Free birth certificates for St Elizabeth seniors

The St. Elizabeth office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will be handing over 25 birth certificates to persons 75 years and older. Parish Manager, Michelle Senior noted that this move aligns with the Government’s bid for the country’s senior citizens to sign up for benefits and support under the Social Pension Programme.

She was addressing the monthly meeting of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation in Black River on Thursday, April 13. “We went out and identified them and have printed birth certificates for 25 of these persons. We have contacted them to come in to collect soon,” Ms. Senior said.

She added that the presentation will be done by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, on a date to be announced. Ms. Senior said it is hoped that the handover will take place by the end of April, after which the senior citizens can transition to the social pension programme.

The Social Pension Programme targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension, old-age or disability benefit or income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility and are generally described as vulnerable.

 

Each beneficiary receives funds every two months, which will be credited to their bank account or disbursed via the applicant’s remittance agency of choice.

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Police Jamaica’s crack illegal guns, drug trade

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) reports that during the first quarter of the year, there were 332 arrests and significant seizures of illegal weapons and drugs.

Two significant firearm seizures at the ports occurred between January and March, according to Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson. These, he claimed, were shipments of 22 and 59 firearms in January and February, respectively.

For the quarter, 225 illegal firearms were taken into custody, according to Commissioner Anderson.

“This represents the highest number of seizures since 2017. Additionally, 238 persons were arrested and charged for gun-related offences over the period,” he said.

Additionally, 4,204 kilogrammes of ganja and 1,563 kilogrammes of cocaine were found, and 94 people were detained and charged with drug-related crimes.

Major General Anderson noted that a multi-agency approach has been taken with regard to training and stated that work will continue to be done to increase detectives' capacity to investigate gang-related crimes.

He stated that 60 staff recently took part in an anti-gang training course designed to increase the ability of the law enforcement community to conduct investigations, bring charges, and eventually obtain convictions in cases of organised crime.

Housing agency to deliver just over 800 units this year

The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) will continue to oversee and manage current joint-venture projects with its partners during the fiscal year 2023–2024 in order to support the delivery of 866 dwelling units.

In order to do this, the HAJ anticipates delivering 521 units from its Catherine Estates (Bernard Lodge) joint-venture project and 345 units from its Edmond Ridge (St. James) joint-venture project, respectively.

According to a document tabled in Parliament by Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, 248 apartments in the Catherine Estates development and 155 units in the Edmond Ridge development were delivered to the market over the previous fiscal years.

The National Housing Trust (NHT) and the HAJ will work together to build 126 homes in densely crowded inner-city neighbourhoods. Twenty-four of these units will be reserved for individuals who experienced fire damage in 2019.

The organisation will also disperse the 7,732 titles it now has under Operation PRIDE in an effort to regularise underground groups and investigate techniques like low costs to promote title accumulation.

The Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme's housing component includes the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), which is managed by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

This effort aims to offer housing for the poor, with a focus on the physically impaired and other vulnerable individuals. The number of rooms in each unit will depend on the size of the family.

Additionally, tenement yards will be improved, and occupants' tenures will be regularised if needed.

About 100 units have been given to beneficiaries as of October 2022, and based on requirements assessment, it is anticipated that more units will be supplied in the 2023–2024 financial year.

The World Bank in a New World

By Wempi Saputra, Erivaldo Alfredo Gomes, and Abdoul Salam Bello

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund, which kicked off on April 10 in Washington, provide an opportunity to reflect on the Bank’s ongoing evolution. As development confronts both longstanding and emerging challenges, the Bank needs to reform itself in ways that enable it to provide more ambitious solutions.

 

Over the past half-century, the WBG has worked with developing countries to help hundreds of millions of people rise out of poverty. But global progress ground to a halt in 2020, after five years of slowing gains, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed 70 million people into extreme poverty. If left unchecked, climate change could do the same to 132 million more by 2030. According to WBG estimates, the number of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $2.15 per day) will increase to 600 million by 2030, and more than three billion people will live on less than $6.85 per day.

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