Frequently asked questions

Questions and Answers about the PSOJ COVID-19 Relief Fund

Why was the PSOJ COVID-19 Relief Fund started and what are the main goals of this fund?


Due to COVID-19, there has been a slowing down of the Jamaican economy alongside an increased risk of COVID-related illness. An immediate effect of this is the issue of food security and increased risk of illness. In recognition of this, the PSOJ, in collaboration with organizations from the public, private and civil society sectors, has established the PSOJ COVID-19 Response Fund. The Fund delivers critical food and COVID related health relief to those most in need. Over 200,000 Jamaicans have lost their jobs and the economy is not improving as quickly as we had hoped. Unemployment, food security and increased health risks are now a serious concern. We need to provide a bridge of support for our fellow Jamaicans until the economic environment improves. The PSOJ COVID-19 Response Fund aims to create a transparent, trustworthy national operation that can raise money locally and globally and provide critically needed food packages and COVID-19 related health relief to the most vulnerable Jamaicans.The goal of the campaign is to raise 250 million JMD locally and abroad to assist 20,000 Jamaicans per month.




Are you sure Jamaica needs our help?


https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails The UN has stated that Jamaica will suffer the world's worst economic fall out from tourism. Losing as much as 11% of our GDP in a moderate scenario.In a severe scenario we could see up to 44% of all of our unskilled workers being unemployed. This is untenable. We need your help. This severe economic crisis will impact our nation and to survive the businesses who are here in the other industries are trying to make sure that our fellow citizens will be able to eat while we pivot. An economic fall out like this has not been seen before. Thankfully due to generous donations of other Jamaican businesses, 94% of the money you give here will be converted into food. This gives our country precious time to feed our citizens while we figure things out.




How are the donations managed?


Transparency in handling donations is of paramount importance for the PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund. All of the money donated for the campaign is managed under the United Way of Jamaica, according to the financial model and procedures designed by international auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCooper.

Weekly public updates of the funds collected and packages delivered are provided on Jamaican national television network CVM at 8:45PM EST every Thursday. This information is also provided on our dedicated website standforjamaica.com as well as the PSOJ social media - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - @thepsoj.





Who has already given to the fund?


Companies or people who have already donated to the PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund include: - National Baking - JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation - Keith Duncan - Douglas Orane - Carreras Limited - PanJam Limited - Jamaica Biscuit Company - J. Wray & Nephew - United Way of Jamaica - Sampars - Chemical & Construction - Jamaica Flour Mills - Sagicor Group - PriceWaterhouse Coopers - American Friends of Jamaica - Flow Jamaica - Grace Kennedy Foundation - Sandals Foundation - Barnett Limited - Tank-Weld - CB Facey Foundation - Gore Developments - JN Foundation - PROVEN Investments - Victoria Mutual Building Society - CariMed - Seprod Foundation - Supreme Ventures - Lillan Limited - Advanced Integrated Systems - CAC 2000 Ltd - CAC Foundation - KPMG - Mega Mart - Billy Craig Insurance Brokers - Fontana Pharmacy - Phase 3 Productions - Betting Gaming and Lotteries - Jamaica Customs Agency - 3M - ICWI
These are just a few of the hundreds of companies and people who have donated to the PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund.




How are the recipients selected?


Dr. Paris Lyew-Ayee and his data experts at the Mona Geoinformatics Institute developed a complex but transparent model to determine the most vulnerable communities. Factors such as unemployment, poverty, population density, number of diabetics, percentage of people over 75 years old, state of water infrastructure and the level of crime were included in the research. The top 5 most vulnerable communities based on the model were Old Harbour (St Catherine), Linstead (St. Catherine), May Pen (Clarendon), Delacree Pen (Saint Andrew), and Gregory Park (St. Catherine). Once areas were selected, a list of names were created using the same criteria on which the communities were selected. We prioritize the most vulnerable people within the most vulnerable communities, targeting 35% of those living in poverty. The factors that were included to determine the risk factor profile of communities includes:
1. Population 2. Population density 3. Unemployment 4. Poverty 5. Education 6. Over 75 7. Diabetics 8. Hypertensives 9. Disabled 10. PATH beneficiaries 11. Pensioners 12. Number of health centers 13. Distance to health centers 14. Hospitals 15. Distance to hospitals 16. Water infrastructure 17. Police stations 18. Distance to police stations 19. Churches 20. Groceries 21. Points of interest 22. Crimes The top 25 communities which were identified through this data driven research include: 1. Old Harbour, St. Catherine 2. Linstead, St. Catherine 3. May Pen, Clarendon 4. Delacree Pen, St. Andrew 5. Gregory Park, St. Catherine 6. Bull Bay/Seven Mile, St. Andrew 7. Whitfield Town, St. Andrew 8. Spanish Town Central, St. Catherine 9. Arnett Gardens, St. Andrew 10. Central Down Town, Kingston 11. Down Town Montego Bay, St. James 12. Willowdene, St. Catherine 13. East Down Town, Kingston 14. Grange Hill, Westmoreland 15. Central Village St. Catherine 16. Glendevon, St. James 17. Hayes, Clarendon 18. Cockburn Gardens, St. Andrew 19. Mount Salem, St. James 20. Negril, Westmoreland 21. St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann 22. Denham Town, Kingston 23. Ocho Rios, St. Ann 24. Jones Town, St. Andrew 25. West Down Town, Kingston




What is typically in the packages that are delivered to beneficiaries?


What is contained in the packages changes periodically depending on the in kind donations received each week. Broadly, the packages are a nutritious mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, sugars, and legumes. Food packages include items in amounts that can last up to 2 weeks. The PSOJ COVID-19 Response Fund aims to impact 50,000-60,000 individuals and ensure that beneficiaries receive continued support by receiving delivered packages every 2 weeks with 4 to 6 deliveries per community. Each package usually contains: - 3lbs of white rice - 2.2lbs of flour - 1.43lbs of cornmeal - 2 packs of cream crackers - 2 packs of macaroni elbows - 2.2lbs of dark sugar - 1 tin of mackerel - 1 tin of sausage - 1 tin of corned beef - 1/3 lb of saltfish - 1 tin of sardines - 1 bottle of cooking oil - 1 pack of Lasco Soy Food drink - 1 bar soap - 1 roll of tissue
This is made possible by in-kind donations of goods and services by local donors such as the National Bakery, Jamaica Flour Mills, Lillan Limited, Derrimon Trading and Cari-Med.




How much money goes to the beneficiaries?


The PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund has managed to achieve an unprecedented rate of 94% of the proceeds raised going directly to the beneficiaries. This is possible due to the extensive donations to the food and the operations. The warehouse was donated by Derrimon Trading Company and the trucks are provided by the Jamaica Customs Agency, National Bakery and the JDF. The logistics systems for delivery were designed by the Jamaica Defense Force who also provide security for the foods traveling across the island. Last mile delivery from community centers and police stations to beneficiaries homes is provided by the Jamaica Constabulary Force. These combined donations make for a very low cost operation. In comparison, the Red Cross donates 89% of their proceeds and the Salvation Army donates 81% of their proceeds towards their respective causes. Many charities in the USA end up donating around 65-70% of proceeds towards their respective causes. We have been able to exceed the expected donation percentage and allow for the majority of our proceeds to go directly to aid beneficiaries.




Where is the food stored?


The food is stored in large central warehouses for storing and packaging the food. This warehouse was kindly donated rent free by the Derrimon Trading Company. Trucks are provided for nationwide distribution from the Jamaica Customs Agency, National Bakery and the JDF and the last mile delivery from the Police Station or Community Centre to the beneficiaries are both provided by the Jamaican Constabulary Force. It is ensured that they have an approved list of beneficiaries in hand.




How often are packages being delivered?


The distribution of the food packages takes place every other week. During delivery week, supplies are packaged, delivered, and distributed to individuals in the select 25 vulnerable communities and to the NGOs who cover specific at-risk communities and populations. On the weeks where there is no delivery, focus is driven towards purchasing orders and delivering them to the central warehouse. Additionally, record keeping and reconciliation activities take place during this week.




How much money does it take to feed a person or family and why is that possible to do this at such a low level of cost?


As a result of donations of products, economies of scale, effective negotiation with suppliers amongst others, a donation of 12 US (1,678 JMD) can help feed 1-2 persons for up to 2 weeks. With the ability for 12US (1,678 JMD) to help feed 1-2 persons for two weeks, 50 US (6,992 JMD) can help feed a family of 4-8 for up to two weeks. Any amount of donation can help in the biggest way possible. Every mickle mek a muckle. This is possible due to several factors including: donations of some items for free or at cost, negotiations with suppliers to get the items at-cost, heavily reduced or free or by purchasing in bulk. So far we have received over 54 million JMD donations in goods and services from companies such as the National Bakery, Lillan Limited, Derrimon Trading, Carimed and Jamaica Flour Mills that greatly reduce the cost of the package.






How receptive have the beneficiaries been to the police delivering the packages?


There is a change in the dynamic of the relationship between civilians and the police as the police personally deliver the packages to beneficiaries. It allows for the Jamaica Constabulary Force to interact with civilians in a better way. The police use their days off to deliver packages and be at the forefront of the lives of civilians, building trust and promoting better policing.




How can I get updates on the progress of the PSOJ Covid-19 Jamaica Response Fund?


CVSS (the project manager) monitors aid weekly distribution and compiles an impact report which is converted into an infographic which is presented every Thursday at 8:45PM on CVM TV. This is done in order to update the public on the performance of the fund and how impactful it is. Furthermore, it highlights the number of donors, number of beneficiaries, total donations to date, etc. This information can also be found on partner websites, social media platforms and periodic updates are provided to donors as well as stakeholders. Updates can be found at https://www.standforjamaica.com/timeline. You can also check out the PSOJ on Instagram for updated posts. Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/thepsoj/





What is the PSOJ?


Established in 1976, The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) is a national organization of private sector associations, companies and individuals working together to promote a positive and productive Jamaican private sector.

The PSOJ represents the interest of the most diverse group of private sector entities and seeks to influence national policy issues of a political, social or economic nature in order to facilitate business development and growth.
To find out more about the PSOJ you can visit: https://psoj.org




Who are some of the corporate partners involved with this?


Our corporate partners include: - Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) Established in 1976, The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica is a national organization of private sector associations, companies and individuals working together to promote a positive and productive Jamaican private sector. - Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) Founded in 1940, the Council of Voluntary Social Services is a coordinating body for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in social development. CVSS is the longest serving and largest umbrella NGO in Jamaica. CVSS is an approved charitable organisation under Section 2 and Section 17 of the Charities Act 2013 of Jamaica. - American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) Founded in 1982, the AFJ is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting Jamaican charitable organizations and social initiatives working to improve the lives of Jamaicans through systemic development in the areas of education, health care and economic development. - United Way of Jamaica Founded in 1985, The United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) brings donors, volunteers, community leaders and other stakeholders to address pressing needs in our society. They invest resources and build partnerships to support a wide range of services. In times of disasters, they collaborate with their partners in relief and restoration efforts.




Who are our partners?


- Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ); project sponsor - Council of Voluntary Social Services; project manager and relief oversight and reporting - United Way of Jamaica (UWJ), the administrators of the funds - The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), supporting with fundraising in the diaspora - Mona Geo-Informatics Institute (Data Analytics operation) which provided risk profiles of communities for support - Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC), an international consulting firm, that developed the financial model for the relief programme - The Jamaica Defence Force that designed and delivers the relief logistics - The Jamaica Constabulary Force lead on distribution of relief packages; They directly deliver the packages door to door that also builds for trust - Adtelligent the social media company promoting the fund.




Can NGO’s benefit from this programme?


In addition to delivering to 25 of the most vulnerable communities as defined by the data model carried out by Mona Geoinformatics Institute, the PSOJ COVID-19 Relief Fund also delivers to vulnerable populations as identified by reputable NGOs. These include people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, children living in extreme poverty, people living with disabilities and people living with HIV.

The NGO beneficiaries include: - Multi-Care YUTE Foundation - Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) - Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) - Mona Social Services - Eve for Life (EfL) - Joy Town Community Development Foundation - Missionaries of the Poor - Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) - St. Andrew Settlement - St. Johns Ambulance - Boys Brigade - Combined Disabilities Association - Children First - Women’s Resource & Outreach Centre (WROC) - Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) - Jamaica Household Workers Association - Diabetes Association of Jamaica - Boys Town Foundation - Salvation Army




Why should I give to this effort?


Due to the pandemic there has been a rapid downturn in the economy. As a result, tens of thousands of Jamaicans have been put at risk or have been laid off from work, leaving them in a highly vulnerable position. In a country with a low savings rate and limited government support programmes, food insecurity has become a major concern. It is important to donate to the cause as we can help uplift the most vulnerable communities in Jamaica. By donating, you can help improve the lives of many Jamaicans who are struggling due to COVID-19.






Is this the best way to support Jamaicans in need?


There are several ways to support Jamaicans in need. What makes the PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund attractive is the efficiency of the operation of this fund coupled with the in kind donations which means that any dollar of gift stretches farther than it would in other circumstances. 94% of the money raised goes to beneficiaries with 12US (1,678 JMD) helping to feed one-two persons for up to 2 weeks and 50 US (6,992 JMD) helping to feed a family of four-eight for up to 2 weeks. This is due to in kind donations provided. Therefore, through the PSOJ COVID-19 Response Fund, the money donations can stretch.




How can I trust that my donation will go towards helping those most needing help?


The selection of the most vulnerable communities and the most vulnerable people in the communities starts with a complex and transparent data model developed by Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee and his team of data experts at the Mona Geoinformatics Institute. The data model is a complex but transparent and determines the Jamaicans left most vulnerable due to the negative effects of COVID-19. The model utilized 22 variables to identify the most vulnerable communities. The variables that were used include: 1. Population 2. Population density 3. Unemployment 4. Poverty 5. Education 6. Over 75 7. Diabetics 8. Hypertensives 9. Disabled 10. PATH beneficiaries 11. Pensioners 12. Number of health centers 13. Distance to health centers 14. Hospitals 15. Distance to hospitals 16. Water infrastructure 17. Police stations 18. Distance to police stations 19. Churches 20. Groceries 21. Points of interest 22. Crimes The top 25 communities were identified using this method, and then a list of names of the most vulnerable persons in these communities were further identified through the JCF and local partners, along with Local Government. Based on the funds raised, we are able to reach 35% of those living in poverty in each of the selected communities.

Using this model, we are confident that the packages are reaching vulnerable communities in Jamaica and helping the persons who truly need it. The top 25 most vulnerable communities which were identified through this data driven research include: 1. Old Harbour, St. Catherine 2. Linstead, St. Catherine 3. May Pen, Clarendon 4. Delacree Pen, St. Andrew 5. Gregory Park, St. Catherine 6. Bull Bay/Seven Mile, St. Andrew 7. Whitfield Town, St. Andrew 8. Spanish Town Central, St. Catherine 9. Arnett Gardens, St. Andrew 10. Central Down Town, Kingston 11. Down Town Montego Bay, St. James 12. Willowdene, St. Catherine 13. East Down Town, Kingston 14. Grange Hill, Westmoreland 15. Central Village St. Catherine 16. Glendevon, St. James 17. Hayes, Clarendon 18. Cockburn Gardens, St. Andrew 19. Mount Salem, St. James 20. Negril, Westmoreland 21. St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann 22. Denham Town, Kingston 23. Ocho Rios, St. Ann 24. Jones Town, St. Andrew 25. West Down Town, Kingston




How are the funds monitored?


Financial books and operating procedures are open and transparent about who has given and how the money has been spent. Weekly tracking of the progress of the funds raised, food collections, and the care package creations and delivery are carried out by the Council of Voluntary Social Services, and fund disbursement is administered and reported on by United Way of Jamaica. Weekly communication about what is happening in regards to the campaign and community support is carried out every Thursday on the local CVM television channel at 8:45PM EST, on social media at @thepsoj and online at standforjamaica.com.




What does it cost to deliver a relief programme to thousands of beneficiaries in communities throughout the island?


With a fundraising target and clear vision set, a partnership with the PWC became crucial to provide a clear financial framework for the Response Fund. The PWC created a financial model based on the MGI data, focusing on the first 25 most vulnerable communities which would be targeted for intervention. The PWC was then able to design a model including the following factors: - Target beneficiaries were those living under the poverty line; - Reach 35% of those living under the poverty line (PIOJ Poverty data) with support in the form of food relief packages; - Distribute to each beneficiary 4 to 6 times, depending on when the community was onboarded. The modelling included: - Additional support through in-kind donations of some of the food items; - Negotiations with suppliers for items at-cost or heavily reduced; - Economies of scale bulk purchasing; - Transportation and warehousing and volunteer labour.




How is the fund organized?


In order to guarantee success, hundreds of people are involved to ensure quality execution. The Fund is managed by a joint oversight committee comprising the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) and American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) who oversee the performance of the fund. The Fund Oversight Committee (FOC) is co-chaired by the President of the PSOJ and a representative of UWJ, and all committees feed into the FOC. There are effectively six (6) basic workstreams and committees including: 1. Fund Oversight 2. Relief Allocation 3. Fundraising 4. Management and Reporting: 5. Marketing and Communication 6. Logistics and Relief Distribution




How can I call or email if I have any questions?


For any questions you can reach out to any of our corporate partners at these contacts. Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) Email: psojinfo@psoj.org Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) number: 876-927-6957 or 876-927-6238 Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) Website: https://psoj.org American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) Email: info@theafj.org American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) Phone Number: 212-265-2550 American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) Website: https://theafj.org Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) Email: info@cvssja.org Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) Phone Number: 876- 906-0065 Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) Website: https://cvssja.org United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) Email: uwj35@hotmail.com United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) Phone number: 876-922-9424 United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) Website: https://www.unitedwayofjamaica.org/ Stand For Jamaica E-mail: standforjamaica@gmail.com Stand For Jamaica Website: https://www.standforjamaica.com





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In partnership with the Council of Voluntary Social Services, United Way of Jamaica, and other stakeholders, your donations can help us to provide one package containing: canned food, fresh produce,  face masks, and sanitation supplies to provide for one Jamaican for a two week period.

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