State doles out $145 million in welfare grants
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security spent more than $145 million through its Public Assistance Programme during the last financial year.
According to the ministry's annual performance report, a total of 7,622 persons benefited from cash awarded in the form of grants, surpassing the 2012-2013 total of 6,000 persons.
A sum of $106.3 million was distributed as compassionate grants to 3,125 persons to offset medical, funeral and other expenses. Another $21.6 million was provided to 829 families to develop income-generating projects and to boost existing ones.
Emergency-relief grants accounted for $8.9 million and were given to 430 households, while 416 students received $8.4 million in education and social-intervention grants.
The report also revealed that 53.8 per cent of the grants were issued to females, while males received 46.2 per cent.
Projections for this financial year include assisting 6,000 persons; offering rehabilitation, compassionate and emergency relief to 7,150 persons; and developing an electronic register of persons who benefit from social assistance programmes.
The ministry's Public Assistance Programme provides non-contributory social assistance grants to the most vulnerable Jamaicans.