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IDB support for Jamaica’s Social Protection Strategy

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is providing $50 million in support of the Government of Jamaica’s efforts to help alleviate poverty. 

Under a project titled “Integrated Support to Jamaica’s Social Protection Strategy” the IDB investment loan will support consumption and protect and promote human capital development of poor families that are beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement Through Health & Education (PATH). 

Implemented by the Ministry of Labour & Social Security (MLSS), PATH is one of the initiatives implemented by the GOJ within its Social Safety Net (SSN) aimed at alleviating poverty and promoting advancement of the poor. 

The IDB’s “Integrated Support to Jamaica Social Protection Strategy” project will help finance cash transfers to eligible beneficiaries of PATH including children and pregnant women; finance the modernization of social services such as the capacity of the MLSS to oversee a network of social services; and support implementation, monitoring and evaluation activities. 

Therese Turner-Jones, IDB Country Representative for Jamaica said that “the Integrated Support to Jamaica’s Social Protection Strategy project is a continuation of support by the IDB to the reform of Jamaica’s SSN.” 

She noted that since 2000, in partnership with the World Bank “the IDB invested in SSN to achieve greater equity, efficiency and effectiveness.” This included a previous investment loan in 2009 “to mitigate the adverse effects of the food price crisis on the most vulnerable.” 

In 2010 and 2011, in response to the international financial crisis, the IDB provided programmatic loans to protect social spending and again in 2012 another investment loan was approved “to support social protection and labour policies, promote human capital accumulation and the transition to the labour market of the poor.” 

Pointing to “exogenous shocks, macroeconomic instability and slow economic growth,” Turner-Jones said “the Integrated Support to Jamaica’s Social Protection Strategy project will help reduce the negative impact of fiscal adjustment on the poor.” 

The IDB loan for $50 million will be for 25 years, with a grace period of 5.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.