SHARING THE LOVE: JCF Officers get baskets

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

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

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News for Week of October 23, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Huawei strengthens roots in Jamaica

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has welcomed the $300-million investment by Chinese technology company Huawei, with the inauguration of its new office space, located at 97 Hope Road, Kingston 6.

The complex has 9,000 sq. ft. of space with digital low-carbon solutions and a modern work environment for staff.

The Prime Minister said the new space signals further expansion of the company’s footprint locally. He lauded the company’s significant investments and contributions to the sector, which have aided in the digital transformation of Jamaica.

“The investment will be of benefit to both Jamaica and the region,” said Holness. “We welcome this investment and commend Huawei for taking this decision and look forward to their continued growth in Jamaica and in the region.”

For his part, Vice President, Huawei, Latin America Region, Michael Xue Feng, thanked the country for its support over the last 15 years as the company established its roots locally. “We are committed to the continued growth and development of Jamaica,” he said.

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Jump project to expand rural Internet access

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology has partnered with FLOW to increase Internet access in rural communities under the Jump initiative.

Jump will provide more affordable and fast broadband packages for members of the public.

Portfolio Minister Daryl Vaz said the private-public partnership is a “game changer”. He said that “this shows that Governments and private-sector partners can work [together], but most importantly, work efficiently and on a timely basis”.

Approximately 1,500 households will benefit under Jump’s pilot programme. The full rollout of the initiative is anticipated in the next six months, when more individuals will be able to participate.

Special emphasis will be placed on students benefiting under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), to ensure that they can access and stay connected to the Internet to do their lessons.

Other partners in the Jump project include the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Universal Service Fund, One-and-One Educational Services, Cable and Wireless Charitable Foundation, the Mona School of Business and Management and the Caribbean School of Data.

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Music ban, all about standards, says info minister

Robert Morgan, the Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for information, has reiterated that the Broadcasting Commission’s restriction on illicit content is not about banning music but setting standards.

He said the entity has a responsibility to manage the country’s free-to-air radio, television, and information portals in a way that “greatly shapes the psychology and perspective of the Jamaican people”.

“This is the standard that the people of the country of Jamaica have set; that is what we want as a society. This is how our society should be framed, how our children should be socialized, and how our radio and television should function,” declared Morgan.

The Broadcasting Commission recently announced a restriction on content transmitted through radio, television or cable services of any audio or video recording, live song, or speech, that promotes and glorifies illicit activities such as scamming, drug abuse, and gun violence.

Minister Morgan, in supporting the move, noted that the Government, or State authority, has a responsibility to uphold policies that help to make Jamaica a better place.

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UN rep supports drive to nip violence in schools

Investing in ending school violence will have a positive effect on the society, said the United Nations (UN) Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid.

“It leads to better health education and social outcomes, while also saving the social cost of dealing with the aftermath of violence,” she said. “Violence is a behaviour that can and must be changed with you. This calls for a whole-of-society and whole-school approach.”

It is against this background that the UN special representative endorsed the Ministry of Education and Youth’s school violence prevention initiative, ‘Just Medz It’. The yearlong campaign seeks to shift the culture of violent confrontations and responses among children and students, and to equip them with conflict-resolution strategies that are peaceful and healthy.

She commended the Ministry of Education and Youth for the “timely initiative”, noting that violence in and around schools remains a serious problem in Jamaica. “Violence is becoming normalized in the school environment as part of a wider social tolerance of violence,” she said. “We cannot accept it. Research has shown that violence in educational settings is associated with a range of mental and physical consequences, including anxiety, substance abuse, depression, and social behaviour. Research has also shown that these effects can persist into adulthood.”

Unemployment rate continues slide

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting that the unemployment rate for July 2022 was 6.6 per cent. This was a 1.9 percentage-point decline compared to the corresponding period last year.

Director General, Carol Coy, says the data show that in July 2022, there were 89,700 unemployed persons, 22,800 fewer compared to July 2021.

She said the number of unemployed males decreased by 8,100, noting that there was a larger decline in the number of unemployed females of 14,700.

“The male unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent, representing a 1.1 percentage-point decline. For females, the unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent. This represents a 2.8 percentage-point decline compared to July 2021,” she said.

Ms. Coy informed that there were 14,300 fewer unemployed persons between the age group 20 and 24 years, accounting for 62.7 per cent of the total decline in the number of unemployed persons. She added that the youth unemployment rate, that is persons 14 to 24 years, was 16.7 per cent compared to 23.9 per cent in July 2021.

St Elizabeth residents get land titles

A total of 440 land titles have been delivered to first-time landowners in St. Elizabeth by the National Land Agency (NLA) under the Government’s Systematic Land Registration (SLR) programme.

Market Research and Public Relations Officer at the NLA, Rasheeda Campbell, said that 1,300 titles have been prepared for residents of the parish. An initial 35 titles were handed over in February, and Ms. Campbell said that the remainder will be distributed as expeditiously as possible.

“Land is an asset and if you have a title, you can use your land to help improve your life and your children’s lives. In fact, you can use your title as collateral to apply for a loan to do just about anything you want,” she noted.

“It gives you security and it is the only way to prove that you own the land. It can help you to start a business, pay school fees, improve your farm and build your dream house,” said Campbell.
 

Fixing the food trade is urgent

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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GENEVA – Between rising hunger and the prospect of still more supply shortages, dark clouds are hovering over the global food system.

 

Not only has the war in Ukraine limited access to, and raised prices for, food and fertilizer, but extreme weather events are disrupting production, and economic downturns have diminished people’s ability to afford adequate and nutritious diets.

 

Climate change is fueling droughts and exacerbating water scarcity, adding to the list of threats facing agricultural production.

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