Child Protection and Family Services Agency Stages Back to School Fair in

The event, which was held at Holly Hill Infant and Primary School in Darliston, catered to 200 youngsters from the institution and community, and 120 children on Supervision Orders as also from the CPFSA’s Family Reintegration Programme. Story Highlights Some 320 children in Darliston, Westmoreland, received complimentary school supplies and medical checks during the Child Protection and Family Services Agency’s (CPFSA) annual Western Region Back to School Treat and Health Fair, on Friday (August 23). They received backpacks filled with stationery and clothing, and were treated to amusement rides, games, and snacks, among other goodies. Some 320 children in Darliston, Westmoreland, received complimentary school supplies and medical checks during the Child Protection and Family Services Agency’s (CPFSA) annual Western Region Back to School Treat and Health Fair, on Friday (August 23).The event, which was held at Holly Hill Infant and Primary School in Darliston, catered to 200 youngsters from the institution and community, and 120 children on Supervision Orders as also from the CPFSA’s Family Reintegration Programme.They received backpacks filled with stationery and clothing, and were treated to amusement rides, games, and snacks, among other goodies.The health services provided included routine school medicals, and blood sugar and pressure checks.In addition, eye screenings were administered by the Lion’s Club of Westmoreland, while doctors visiting from the United States provided chiropractic services.Several stakeholder partners, including the Ministries of Health and Wellness, and Labour and Social Security, and Peace Management Initiative (PMI), made presentations to the children and their families throughout the day.The event also served as an outreach initiative to heighten awareness about CPFSA service delivery across the agency’s Western Region, comprising the parishes of St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland, and Trelawny.Chief Executive Officer, Rosalee Gage-Grey, told JIS News that the event enables the Agency to become more familiar with schools and families in the Region.“It is one way for us to know the schools, the principals and the guidance counselors because, during the course of the year when our officers have to do interventions and investigations, these are the persons they [liaise with],” she explainedMrs. Gage-Grey further stated that “we work very closely with the Ministry of Education, [Youth and Information], which is our parent Ministry, and the [CPFSA’s] Regional Directors to ensure that the school year is very good for the children”.“So it is a good collaborative effort. It works well and it shares the resources right across Government,” she added.Principal of Holly Hill Infant and Primary School, Seyon Gardiner, said the initiative is indicative of the priority which the CPFSA places on health and education.Parent, Shanoya Wallace, told JIS News that the event was important as it assisted in significantly offsetting expenses associated with school preparations for parents not having the resources for this undertaking.She urged the CPFSA to continue staging the annual treat, in order to assist in alleviating some of the financial challenges parents encounter ahead of the start of each academic year. read more

Industry Minister Wants Closer Working Relationship Between DBJ and EXIM Bank

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, is proposing a closer working relationship between the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and EXIM Bank Jamaica, in order to maximise funding resources available for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).“If you look at the portfolio of the DBJ, I think that the larger sums that are on lend from the DBJ tend to go to larger businesses, and I want to see a greater distribution of some of those resources going to our small and medium-sized enterprises,” Mr. Shaw said.Speaking at the EXIM Bank’s annual strategic planning retreat, at the institution’s Hope Road Offices, today (September 9), the Minister said he will be discussing the proposal with Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, who has portfolio responsibility for the DBJ.“The endgame is more growth, more jobs, and targeting the export market in a very deliberate way,” he explained.Loans from the EXIM Bank to the productive sector are projected to increase to $9.3 billion for this fiscal year.Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said the first report on funds in dormant accounts “is on his desk” and will be shared with the Finance Minister and the Cabinet.“Dormant funds in our commercial banking system are something that has to be looked at. The global standard for dormant funds returning to central government is seven years. In the United States it is five years, and in Jamaica it’s 15 years,” he pointed out.“The objective is, if we bring the dormant funds period at least down to the world standard of seven years, billions of dollars will be made available, which in my view should be put into a special account and made available to our small and medium enterprises,” the Minister added.Mr. Shaw noted that the EXIM Bank will be one of the avenues through which the funds will be made available to MSMEs.For his part, Board Director at the EXIM Bank, Norman Reid, said the operations of the financial institution are being restructured.“That has commenced. Much has taken place, so far, and it will continue. So, we are restructuring to meet the opportunities that are out there,” he said.The EXIM Bank is Jamaica’s premier trade financing institution and the Caribbean’s first Export-Import Bank.It plays a fundamental role in national development by providing a wide range of financing instruments at competitive interest rates for the country’s productive sector.It aims to assist in the growth of this sector and to contribute to the development of the wider national economy. Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, is proposing a closer working relationship between the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and EXIM Bank Jamaica, in order to maximise funding resources available for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). “If you look at the portfolio of the DBJ, I think that the larger sums that are on lend from the DBJ tend to go to larger businesses, and I want to see a greater distribution of some of those resources going to our small and medium-sized enterprises,” Mr. Shaw said. Speaking at the EXIM Bank’s annual strategic planning retreat, at the institution’s Hope Road Offices, today (September 9), the Minister said he will be discussing the proposal with Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, who has portfolio responsibility for the DBJ. Story Highlights read more