The Jamaica Social Investment Fund continues to make progress in improving the lives of the underserved populations throughout Jamaica, thereby taking the country a step closer to achieving the milestones set out in the country’s Vision 2030 development plan. While in the early days the JSIF had a strong focus on addressing basic community needs, the work of the JSIF has now evolved towards making investments aimed at economic growth; developing the youth work force; job creation and increased earnings at the micro, small and medium enterprise levels.
In financial year 2021/2022 JSIF was implementing four Projects; the Rural Economic Development Initiative II (REDI II); the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP); the GOJ Integrated Community Development Project II (ICDP II) and the Basic Needs Trust Fund 9 (BNTF 9. These projects focus on areas integral to the sustainable development of the country and include agriculture and tourism, climate change resilience, disaster management, education, health, citizen safety and security and rural development.
The Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) completed work on two major projects during the reporting period, the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) Western Regional Headquarters in Montego Bay, St. James, and the Port Royal Street Coastal Revetment Project in Downtown Kingston. The Area 4 Headquarters, a 34,073-square-foot four-storey building, will provide service to St James, Westmoreland, Trelawny, Hanover and St Elizabeth. The works, which cost of approximately J$580 million was completed in December 2021. The Coastal Revetment Project, which ended in April 2022, comprises of one kilometre of composite seawall and armour stone revetment structure, upgrading of drainage features, rehabilitation and raising of one kilometre of existing roadway and installation of a 4.7-metre-wide boardwalk The redeveloped corridor spans the coastline from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade building to the Rae Town Fishing Village and cost approximately J$1.3 billion. These projects will bolster Jamaica’s protection of people and property in the Western region of the island and provide defense for critical national structures by the coastline in Kingston.
The JSIF provides oversight under the Government Of Jamaica funded Integrated Community Development Project II (ICDP II) for the implementation of social intervention programmes within the Zone Of Special Operations (ZOSO) communities. Some of the achievements implemented during the 2021/2022 financial year included construction of Safe Passage for Schools in Salt Spring and Treadlight, upgrading of sidewalks and zinc fence substitution in Greenwich Town, hosting of training programmes for Community Development representatives, issuing of Entrepreneurial Grants to community enterprises; hosting of Summer Camps, training of Environmental Wardens in Solid Waste Management and the rehabilitation/creation of Community Green Spaces. Over 32,000 persons benefitted from these activities.
The Basic Needs Trust Fund 9 (BNTF 9 ) completed five (5) infrastructure projects in rural parishes, including the rehabilitation of three (3) roads and renovation/expansion of two (2) schools. In addition, capacity building training for GOJ Social Workers and persons who work in children’s homes and specialized training for Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) in the education system were undertaken. These interventions benefitted over 9,000 persons.
The Rural Economic Development Project II (REDI II) is in the initial stages of implementation and the team is actively appraising applications received and engaging partners regarding development of possible sub projects. A component of REDI II is Technical Support to GOJ partner entities, and two consultancies are underway to provide data and technical information for the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries respectively, as they work in furtherance of GOJ sector priorities.
In its Project Management role, JSIF continues its collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to facilitate official electricity connection for households in targeted communities across all constituencies.