Rollout of the PSOJ/CVSS COVID19 Relief Effort - MGI Plays Critical Role

From left to right: Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr - MGI's Director at MGI, JDF's Brigadier Radgh Mason, Keith Duncan PSOJ President, SSP Stephanie Lindsay from the JCF and Saffrey Brown, Chairman of CVSS.

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) has so far raised J$110 million through its ongoing PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund, aimed at mobilizing and distributing resources for the protection and welfare of Jamaican citizens.

The Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI) at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus has been tasked with the responsibility to select the communities that will be provided with support across Jamaica. MGI’s Director, Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr has been working with the PSOJ, CVSS, JCF, JDF and other partners to ensure this initiative is a success.

The Fund is a multi-sectoral partnership including another umbrella organization, 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. Its initial goal is to reach a total of $250 million, to assist in Jamaica’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

CVSS Chair Saffrey Brown explained that her organization 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,” said Brown. “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 utilize their strengths in order to maximise impact.”

Brown noted that the partners work closely together to identify those 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.”

The funds donated will be allocated to support food security and health services in Jamaica. 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.

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 involved in combating the virus on a day to day basis.

The PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund warmly welcomes the support of all Jamaicans, both locally and in the diaspora, and all friends of Jamaica. Donations can be made through various channels and you can keep abreast of how the fund is doing by visiting 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

If you are overseas or would like to donate using your credit card, visit www.theafj.org. Alternatively, US based cheques may 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.

See the PSOJ website to follow all the latest developments.

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