News from the OPM

Community Health Aides Gearing up for ‘Operation Refresh’
Robust Systems in Place for Procurement of Government Housing Contracts
Government Takes Swift Action to Prevent Price Gouging After Hurricane Beryl, Ensuring Fair Access to Essential Goods
Government Commits to Effective and Structured Relief Measures for Hurricane Beryl Victims
Rebuilding Jamaica Stronger with the Launch of Building Jamaica Better Fund; Hurricane Beryl Relief Coordination Committee
Climate Resilience Integrated into Jamaica’s Financial Planning to Accelerate Post-Disaster Recovery
Community Health Aides Gearing up for ‘Operation Refresh’

Community Health Aides Gearing up for ‘Operation Refresh’

July, 16 2024
The Ministry of Health and Wellness, in a solid commitment to enhancing community health and well-being, conducted the first in the series of sensitisation sessions to highlight the renewed focus on the primary healthcare reform programme. Dubbed ‘Operation Refresh’, this programme was announced Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, MP in May during his Sectoral Presentation and is intended to be two -pronged – standardizing the health centres infrastructure and increasing the number of home visits from the country’s more than 2,000 Community Health Aides (CHAs). The first sensitisation session was held in St. Ann on Friday, July 12 with the more than 130 CHAs in that parish, where the Minister noted that “No one knows your community members like you and oftentimes Community Health Aides are the first public health point of contact at the community and home levels. We need to support our community members as part of the prevention and management of the Non-Communicable Disease epidemic that continues to negatively impact the quality of life for thousands of Jamaicans. This is why the Government of Jamaica is investing J$1Billion to this initiative.” Additionally, Dr Tufton reiterated that as a part of the primary…
Robust Systems in Place for Procurement of Government Housing Contracts

Robust Systems in Place for Procurement of Government Housing Contracts

July, 14 2024
“None of these contracts are just handed over to anyone to build the house. There is a sense among many persons in Jamaica that Government can take up a works contract and say, ‘My friend here you go’. That may have been the case years 20-30 years ago, but that is certainly not the case today. – Prime Minister Holness --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government has a very robust system to ensure transparency and accountability in the award of infrastructure contracts particularly, housing contracts. Speaking today (July 12) at the handover of a social housing unit in Hanover, Prime Minister Holness made it clear that all government contracts and services must be subject to a rules-based process and systems of laws that are independent of political interference. “None of these contracts are just handed over to anyone to build the house. There is a sense among many persons in Jamaica that Government can take up a works contract and say, ‘My friend here you go’. That may have been the case years 20-30 years ago, but that is certainly not the case today. Everything goes through a competitive process, a rules-based process,” said Prime Minister Holness. Prime…
Government Takes Swift Action to Prevent Price Gouging After Hurricane Beryl, Ensuring Fair Access to Essential Goods

Government Takes Swift Action to Prevent Price Gouging After Hurricane Beryl, Ensuring Fair Access to Essential Goods

July, 14 2024
“The government is closely monitoring market activities to prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of the disaster for financial gain. Our citizens should have access to the necessary supplies at fair prices.” - Prime Minister Holness ------------------------------------------------------------------ The Government has taken prompt and decisive actions to prevent price gouging, or the charging of high prices on critical commodity items in the wake of Hurricane Beryl. Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared that the government has taken a zero-tolerance approach to prevent the unfair practice. An order has been issued under the Trade Act to regulate prices and ensure fair access to necessary supplies, protecting citizens from exploitation. “The government is closely monitoring market activities to prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of the disaster for financial gain. Our citizens should have access to the necessary supplies at fair prices,” Prime Minister Holness said. The Prime Minister noted that the government recognizes the significant hardship many Jamaicans are facing during this time and will not allow price gouging to exacerbate the situation. "I urge the public to report any instance of price gouging, meaning an increase in price over and above what you were paying for the same product or service before the…
Government Commits to Effective and Structured Relief Measures for Hurricane Beryl Victims

Government Commits to Effective and Structured Relief Measures for Hurricane Beryl Victims

July, 14 2024
"The first response was the emergency relief which includes food, care packages and so forth. This response now must be about helping persons to recover and get back on their feet." - Prime Minister Holness ------------------------------------------------------------------- The Government has outlined a comprehensive relief package for persons devastated by Hurricane Beryl. Prime Minister Andrew Holness outlined the assistance measures in Parliament yesterday (July 9) as he gave a detailed update on the government’s efforts a week after Category 4 Hurricane Beryl brushed the southern section of the island. The Prime Minister has announced an additional funding of four million dollars for each constituency to further support recovery efforts. This allocation is to be used for shelter, economic rehabilitation, emergency clearing of roads, and removing fallen trees. It will follow the completion and proper documentation of the initial funds. "The first response was the emergency relief, which includes food, care packages, and so forth. This response now must be about helping persons to recover and get back on their feet," Prime Minister Holness explained. Recognizing that some areas were more severely impacted by Hurricane Beryl, an extra $3 million will be allocated to constituencies with higher damage assessments. These assessments, conducted by the…
Rebuilding Jamaica Stronger with the Launch of Building Jamaica Better Fund; Hurricane Beryl Relief Coordination Committee

Rebuilding Jamaica Stronger with the Launch of Building Jamaica Better Fund; Hurricane Beryl Relief Coordination Committee

July, 11 2024
"It is a rough time and for the areas that I have toured, I want to say to the people there, I see your pain. I feel your pain and I'm working as hard as I can to make your recovery as quick and as sustainable as possible." - Prime Minister Holness ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In response to the devastating impact of Hurricane Beryl across Jamaica, the Government has endorsed the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation’s Building Jamaica Better Fund, while launching the Disaster Fund for the facilitation of donations towards relief and recovery efforts. Addressing the nation at the launch of the Building Jamaica Better Fund during a press conference on Monday (July 8) at Jamaica House, Prime Minister Andrew Holness reassured residents that help is on the way. He said, “It is a rough time and for the areas that I have toured, I want to say to the people there, I see your pain. I feel your pain and I'm working as hard as I can to make your recovery as quick and as sustainable as possible.” In commending the NCB Foundation, the Prime Minister said the Build Jamaica Better Fund is a step in a direction towards quick and…
Climate Resilience Integrated into Jamaica’s Financial Planning to Accelerate Post-Disaster Recovery

Climate Resilience Integrated into Jamaica’s Financial Planning to Accelerate Post-Disaster Recovery

July, 11 2024
 "We are mainstreaming climate resilience in our budgeting process by building buffers and reserves and by literally budgeting for storms." - Prime Minister Holness --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government is committed to integrating climate resilience into the budget process and financial planning to enhance the country's ability to recover swiftly from hurricanes and other major weather events. Speaking yesterday (July 8) as he endorsed the Building A Better Jamaica Fund at a media event at Jamaica House, Prime Minister Holness emphasized the proactive measures being taken to mitigate the economic impacts of natural disasters. “It is important and instructive, therefore, that the country understands how the government is treating with this [disaster preparedness]. We have been treating with this by virtue of; one, ensuring that we mainstream climate resilience in everything that we do. So, we are mainstreaming climate resilience in our budgeting process by building buffers and reserves and by literally budgeting for storms," said Prime Minister Holness. Prime Minister Holness highlighted critical importance of financial prudence of these measures, explaining that the aim is to prevent Jamaica from falling into a cycle of increased borrowing after every climatic event. "What happened before is that every…
Prime Minister Holness Announces REACH Programme to Accelerate Hurricane Beryl Relief and Recovery Efforts

Prime Minister Holness Announces REACH Programme to Accelerate Hurricane Beryl Relief and Recovery Efforts

July, 11 2024
“By today, approximately 5,000 families would have received care packages. We are coordinating the continued distribution of food, water and medical sundries to citizens in the most affected areas. We are working in the most affected areas.” - Prime Minister Holness -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a comprehensive initiative, the Relief Emergency Assistance and Community Help (REACH) programme, aimed at providing immediate and sustained relief to affected communities. This initiative underscores the government's commitment to rapid recovery and support for the hardest-hit communities by Hurricane Beryl last week. Prime Minister Holness highlighted that the REACH programme focuses on distributing food and essential supplies, restoring utilities, providing housing and reconstruction support, and facilitating economic recovery and the restoration of livelihoods. The Prime Minister noted that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, through its network of social workers, has already distributed care packages containing canned foods, flour, rice, cooking oil, and other necessities. “These care packages contain enough food for a family of four for four days. By today, approximately 5,000 families would have received care packages. We are coordinating the continued distribution of food, water and medical sundries to citizens in the most affected areas. The work is going on…
Prime Minister Andrew Holness Expresses Sadness Over Tragic Death of Icilda James Following Hurricane Beryl

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Expresses Sadness Over Tragic Death of Icilda James Following Hurricane Beryl

July, 11 2024
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed deep sadness following the tragic passing of Ms. Icilda James, who was found deceased in a pond in Dumfries, St. James, in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl. Speaking in Parliament today, where he reported on the impact of the storm and Jamaica’s recovery plan, the Prime Minister acknowledged the passing of three Jamaicans during the storm, with the latest victim being Ms. James. Prime Minister Holness emphasized that the measures put in place during the hurricane under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) are not meant to restrict freedom but to protect lives. The Government of Jamaica remains steadfast in its commitment to aiding those affected by Hurricane Beryl and ensuring the safety and well-being of the nation’s citizens.

Prime Minister Holness Emphasizes Transparency and Accountability in Hurricane Beryl Relief Efforts

July, 09 2024
“In the past, there has been a less than structured way in the delivery of emergency relief, and that has led to criticisms about the transparency, even accusations of political bias in the dispensation and distribution of relief to needy citizens. It would be a real travesty if such criticisms were made. So I want to assure Jamaica that whatever we do, there must be systems of accountability and transparency.” - Prime Minister Holness ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prime Minister Andrew Holness has assured the nation that there will be transparency and accountability in the government's disaster response mechanisms to the devastating impact of Hurricane Beryl in parts of the country. The Prime Minister emphasized that relief benefits will reach those in need without political favouritism or partisanship. During a visit to several areas in southern Jamaica on July 4, Prime Minister Holness conducted a damage assessment of the impact of Hurricane Beryl and outlined the government's plan to provide relief to those affected. “We are currently in the disaster response phase, where the first step is the assessment. We want to wrap up the assessment very quickly, and then that assessment will help us curate a response. So, we begin to see…