Exchanging Experiences, Expanding Opportunities

IASPN study tour: Jamaica’s PATH programme

Source: The Observer

Representatives from the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) have ended a visit to Jamaica where they examined the government-run Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).

PATH is a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme that provides benefits to over 370,000 Jamaicans in approximately 13,000 families. The Portia Simpson Miller Government says it is the largest social protection support system in the English speaking Caribbean.

The six-member delegation held talks with various stakeholders including Labour and Social Security Minister Derrick Kellier, who said that the visit highlighted the importance of the programme "as a credible strategy for reducing poverty".

He said that PATH should be viewed as a "hand up" and not a "hand out," and that 1,000 families in the programme were "participating in a phased implementation of a welfare-to-work programme, which is expected to cost approximately $600 million over the next two years".

The OAS/Caricom team visited various sites and a Government statement here said that it is the intention of members of the delegation to help implement similar social protection programmes in their home countries.

The Caricom team included representatives from Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.