The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica today announced that, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic presently affecting Jamaica, it is launching and spearheading a private, public and social sector partnership geared towards mobilizing and distributing resources towards the protection and welfare of the citizens of Jamaica. The Fund, dubbed the PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund, organized in partnership with PSOJ Member and umbrella organisation for the voluntary sector, the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), along with the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, Sagicor Foundation Jamaica, the American Friends of Jamaica and other partners, will facilitate donations and contributions of cash towards meeting the needs of citizens and mitigating the threats associated with the pandemic.

The move comes on the heels of member companies of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, PSOJ, recently joining forces and contributing a total of one hundred and fifty million dollars to purchase ventilators to outfit the hospitals that have been designated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) to handle the persons infected with the virus. The PSOJ has indicated that there are, however, still countless other individuals and organizations, desirous of contributing towards Jamaica during this time.

President of the PSOJ, Keith Duncan explained that his expectation is for funds raised through this vehicle, to be channeled towards key areas identified by the committee. “The nation cannot avoid the negative impact of this pandemic on our economy and our people, however, we can all play our part to minimize the impact and save as many lives as possible. This Fund will provide a vehicle for us to collectively contribute to food security and health services during these unprecedented times, said Duncan. He describes the move as a national call to action to proactively move to minimize the spread of the virus, soften the economic impact and to save the lives of our citizens.

Duncan said that the target raise for the Fund is initially $250 Million, however, this target may be increased based on the duration and scale of support required. “We’re calling on Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica, home and abroad, to support this fund and help us achieve the target.” An allocation committee made up of private, public and social sector representatives has been formed, and donations will be directed towards registered charitable relief agencies or to supporting the health services. Updates on donations received, and funds disbursed will be available on the PSOJ and CVSS websites.

The PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund is open to members of the Jamaican Public and the wider diaspora to contribute. Donations are being sought internationally thanks to a partnership with American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) who are providing their donation platform through which funds can be contributed via credit card and wire transfer. US based cheques may also be sent to AFJ so long as the purpose of the donation is duly noted on the document. Once donations are channeled through AFJ; companies and individuals based in the US will be able to receive the added benefit of a 501 c(3) tax allowance.

Locally, persons or companies who want to do local wire transfers are being asked to do so through the CVSS Account at National Commercial Bank Chequing account number 061052429. Alternately companies and/or individuals can use the CVSS USD account at JMMB – 006000181484

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