Friday, May 01, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) says to date, it has raised $110 million through its PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund, which is aimed at mobilising and distributing resources for the protection and welfare of Jamaicans.

The PSOJ said the fund is a multi-sectoral partnership including another umbrella organisation, the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS); as well as the United Way of Jamaica (UWJ); American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ); and other key stakeholders.

The organisation said the initial goal of the fund was to reach a total of $250 million, to assist in the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

CVSS Chair Saffrey Brown explained that her organisation will begin the allocation of resources to communities through its network of volunteer and social service organisations.

“There is a lot of planning and logistics involved to help the process along,” Brown said.

“We want to ensure at all times that the aid is delivered to those people who are directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and so we are working closely with the Jamaica Defence Force, who are leading on logistics, and also the Jamaica Constabulary Force, who are going to help us distribute the relief to residents. Our approach has been to engage multiple partners and to utilise their strengths in order to maximise impact,” she added.

Brown said the organisations work together closely to identify communities and individuals in the greatest need.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to ensure that we have health protocols in place so that our volunteers, and community members, are as protected as can be, against the COVID threat,” she noted.

The PSOJ said the donated funds will be allocated to support food security and health services across the island.

“Food packages and prepared meals where necessary will be delivered to those most at-risk of severe illness if they were to contract the virus, and via food kitchens for those displaced by the economic fallout,” the organisation said in a statement.

It said that the funds raised will also boost supplies of medical equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontline and emergency workers such as medical personnel, first responders, police, firefighters and volunteers.

The PSOJ said donations to the fund can be made through various channels and information on the progress of the fund can be found on its website www.psoj.org.

Locally, individuals or companies that prefer to make wire transfers are asked to do so through the CVSS Account at National Commercial Bank (NCB) chequing account number 061052429.

Alternately companies and/or individuals can use the CVSS USD account at JMMB – 006000181484

Persons in the diaspora can donate using a credit card at www.theafj.org.

Alternatively, United States based cheques can also be sent to the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) so long as the purpose of the donation is noted on the document.

Once donations are channelled through AFJ, companies and individuals based in the US will be able to receive the added benefit of a 501 c (3) tax allowance.

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