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News for Week of July 11, 2021
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13 health facilities in line for upgrade in Jamaica

Primary healthcare facilities will be built and upgraded in select rural communities through a $1.8-billion non-reimbursable grant from the European Union  (EU).

The EU has committed the funds under its Caribbean Investment Facility in support of the Government of Jamaica Health Systems Strengthening Programme.

It will augment the US$50-million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) investment loan for the programme, which will see the upgrading and development of 13 health facilities – three hospitals and 10 health centres – to benefit some 800,000 Jamaicans.

The non-reimbursable support from the EU is for the work to be done on the health centres.

The programme, which has the objective of improving the management, quality and efficiency of health services, also entails the introduction and implementation of an information systems for health, including remote patient monitoring, e-prescription and electronic health record.

Carib Cement committed to corporate social responsibility.

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All set for digital currency in August

Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor Richard Byles says work is being finalised to begin pilot implementation of the proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC) locally, in August.

Mr. Byles indicated that technical support for its rollout, among other inputs, are being reviewed to facilitate onboarding of the first financial institution – National Commercial Bank (NCB) – to test the system.

The Governor said between September and December, the BOJ will look to onboard more banks, adding that “we will gradually expand the pilot… into a full [rollout] in 2022”.

Digital currency is a form of central bank-backed currency and is, therefore, legal tender. It can be exchanged, dollar for dollar, with actual cash and is issued to licensed deposit-taking institutions.

Individuals, households, and businesses can use it to pay for goods and services, as obtains with cash.

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Chukka pumps more dollars into attractions

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says the investments made by Chukka Caribbean Adventures to upgrade and reopen facilities in Jamaica, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is an indication of investor confidence in the strengthening of the local tourism sector.

Chukka spent US$2 million on a new nature adventure park, which opened in Sandy Bay, Hanover last December, and a further US$250,000 to upgrade its Good Hope attraction in Trelawny, which reopened July 2.

“The money spent on remodeling and reinventing the experience at both facilities, to make them both COVID-19 compliant and to put them in a position where they can be compared favourably with all the top attractions of the world where the new visitors would want to go, is money well spent,” said Minister Bartlett.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chukka Caribbean Adventures, Marc Melville, said that the company has always been guided by the old adage that “wherever there is a crisis there are always opportunities, and that was something we felt to the core while battling this pandemic”.

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Sagicor Vax Day
Sagicor Vax Day

Nurse Inga Hunter Martin signs the vaccination card for 83-year-old Emma Smart after administering the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine during a vaccination blitz held at Sagicor Group Jamaica’s head office in New Kingston.

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Gore Family Foundation
Gore Family Foundation

Head of the Nutrition Lab at Jamaica College was surprised at Christine Gore’s hands-on approach to the renovation of the lab that the Gores built six years ago. The lab is currently being upgraded at a cost of J$1.5 million. The Foundation is undertaking major renovations to the Phillip and Christine Gore Building at an estimated cost of $4 million.

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Pineapples
Pineapples

A representative from the Annotto Bay Fire Station shows off her freshly picked JP St Mary’s pineapple alongside JP St Mary’s Assistant Depot Manager Simone Saunderson during a handover of care packages with the vitamin C-rich fruit to the Fire Brigade. The donation by JP St Mary’s is part of an overall initiative to encourage essential workers to eat healthy foods to boost their immune systems.

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Sagicor Vax Day
Sagicor Vax Day

Nurse Inga Hunter Martin signs the vaccination card for 83-year-old Emma Smart after administering the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine during a vaccination blitz held at Sagicor Group Jamaica’s head office in New Kingston.

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Get ready for Christmas in July!

Several new participants will showcase their locally made gifts and souvenir items at this year’s staging of the Christmas in July Trade Show.

Christmas in July will be streamed live on Instagram and Facebook @tefjamaica and on the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) YouTube channel on July 22, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

The event, being hosted by the Tourism Linkages Network, a division of the TEF, aims to provide a gifting solution to the tourism industry and by extension corporate Jamaica and retail consumers.

Director of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald Riley, said that 250 applications were received, but 146 participants were selected. “The repeat applicants this year are 107, a little less than half, so it is telling you that we have a significant number of new persons coming in,” said Mrs. McDonald Riley.

Registrar General’s Department strengthens system

The new Civil Registration Number (CRN) developed by the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) is expected to improve planning for social security and welfare programmes.

The CRN is a code now applied to the RGD’s Electronic Birth database as part of the process of linking vital life events – birth, marriage and death.

Chief Executive Officer at the RGD, Charlton McFarlane said that the unique CRN will identify persons through their life course.

“The benefit of this is that we will now be able to identify individuals by using the significant life events from the civil registry. This will help us to be able to tighten up our social obligations to our citizens. It will allow us greater efficiency by being able to identify persons, who would have transitioned to retirement or who would have passed on,” he said.

Mr McFarlane added, “I believe the Government will definitely benefit by the fact that they will now be able to have a better idea of the population for which they are planning… especially around the age of retirement. We spend a lot of resources through the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and the Accountant General on pension funds.”

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