Jamaican News

PIOJ Launches National Poverty Reduction Programme

Photo: Adrian Walker

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, addressing Planning Institute of Jamaica’s launch of the National Poverty Reduction Programme at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (March 21).

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, has launched the National Poverty Reduction Programme (NPRP).

The programme, which was launched at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday (March 21), aims to significantly reduce and eradicate poverty by 2030 through a framework facilitating efforts to this end.

Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Water, Works and Housing in the Ministry, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, welcomed the project’s launch, which he said is timely, noting that it aims to promote economic empowerment among poverty-stricken Jamaicans.

“Poverty has been a long-standing challenge for this country because there are certain standards we’ve established for the basic quality of life (which poverty-stricken persons are unable to attain),” he said.

Against this background, he lauded the PIOJ for spearheading the initiative that will serve to strengthen coordinated interventions across ministries, departments and agencies through the Cabinet-approved Poverty Reduction Coordinative Unit, located at the Institute.

The Programme was developed using data and research insights from stakeholders on lessons learned locally, as also regional and international best practices on poverty reduction and socio-economic development.

The National Policy on Poverty (NPP) and NPRP, which are coordinated by the PIOJ, are aligned to existing government policies and strategies and provide an enabling environment.

These include the Jamaica Social Protection Strategy; the long-term National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica; and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Dr. Chang expressed confidence in the PIOJ’s ability to implement the NPRP.

“The Policy now provides a framework that establishes a core body with responsibility for the coordination of various poverty-reduction programmes and all other initiatives. It also identifies key focus areas and establishes a specific mechanism to deal with target groups,” he said.

Noting that poverty-reduction monitoring and evaluation efforts are important, the Minister said the programme will provide “a credible and measurable space” from which government efforts may be evaluated for the effectiveness and impact.

The PIOJ’s Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, in an interview with JIS News, welcomed the collaborative approach towards poverty reduction in Jamaica.

“We are encouraging a multidimensional approach… looking at the various forms in which poverty will manifest itself and having a multidimensional approach which addresses the psychosocial, cultural and the need to empower persons to break that intergenerational cycle of poverty,” he said.

Dr. Henry pointed out that the PIOJ is “very excited” about the work being done in this regard and what it represents.

“It’s work that has been going on in Jamaica for some time that has been a challenge for us, and we’re just continuing that work in a cohesive way. We’re looking forward to the measurable outcomes that will take place over the medium terms. It’s a 2018 to 2021 framework, and so we have some memorable indicators that we want to achieve over the time,” he added.
NPRP and NPP were approved by the Houses of Parliament in September 2017.


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