KINGSTON, Jamaica — The US Government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), announced today that it is providing an additional US$1 million (J$150 million) to assist Jamaica’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The USAID said it will use these resources to deliver social welfare support to vulnerable youth, families, and communities, as well as assistance to address issues such as child abuse and domestic violence.

“We realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected the health of this country but by extension the social and economic welfare. Recognizing these challenges, the US Government is responding to the call to help the people of Jamaica,” US Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia said.

“This additional $1 million will add to the more than US$2 million the United States has already provided to support Jamaica’s COVID-19 response.”

With these emergency response resources, USAID said it will seek opportunities to:

  • Build local partner capacity to deliver social welfare support to include food and sanitisation packages to the most affected, with a focus on female-headed households, victims of domestic violence, unattached youth and youth in juvenile correctional facilities;
  • Build the economic resilience of targeted populations by supporting micro-enterprises through business development support, training, upskilling interventions, and facilitating the employability of targeted at-risk populations;
  • Facilitate access to psychosocial services, including grief and trauma counselling for families, at-risk youth, children and victims of domestic abuse who are under stress due to concerns about their security, health, and financial well-being; and
  • Build resilience by promoting cohesion and solidarity within targeted communities, improving access to education and enabling the response capabilities of key institutions.

“USAID is providing a robust variety of assistance options to support Jamaica’s COVID-19 response. We are working closely with the people and government of Jamaica so that our assistance is tailored to the capacity and needs of the country,” said USAID/Jamaica Country Representative Jason Fraser.

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