An opposition lawmaker used the floor of Parliament yesterday to charge that the State has not been doing enough for sports persons.Everald Warmington claimed that young athletes are only recognised by the Government at the time of their performance or when they return to Jamaica, and are then forgotten.He said that in recognition of the performance of our young athletes, the Government is to establish a special programme geared at providing for the further education and welfare of young athletes.He said in Parliament yesterday that very often, the State only concerns itself with having motorcades and having special holidays for athletes after they have performed well.”Very little is done for them by the Government to help their welfare and education,” he said.The South West St Catherine MP said that if the Government stepped up to the plate, “they would no longer have to be on the streetside selling bananas after they performed exceptionally well for this country”.Cabinet in December approved the establishment of the Jamaican Athletes Insurance Plan to provide group health and life and personal accident insurance for 1,323 athletes.Guardian Life Insurance and Allied Insurance Brokers have been selected to provide coverage for the athletes. The Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan has received funding from the Sports Development Foundation, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the National Health Fund, and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.Natalie Neita Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, said at a Jamaica House press briefing last November that the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and the Sports Development Foundation had been supportive of the athletes’ welfare, and since 2001, the amount spent for the development and welfare of the athletes increased from $670,000 to $9 million in 2013.
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The event was held to commission a study on the economic value of the diaspora being undertaken by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI). Story Highlights This was reported by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, while speaking at a Jamaica Diaspora Day Breakfast event held on Friday (June 16) at the Jamaica National Financial Centre on Belmont Road, Kingston. The diaspora has contributed US$186,000 to the education sector for the period April 2016 to March 2017. The diaspora has contributed US$186,000 to the education sector for the period April 2016 to March 2017.This was reported by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, while speaking at a Jamaica Diaspora Day Breakfast event held on Friday (June 16) at the Jamaica National Financial Centre on Belmont Road, Kingston.The event was held to commission a study on the economic value of the diaspora being undertaken by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI).It was also part of activities to observe Diaspora Day celebrated locally and abroad on June 16.Minister Johnson Smith said the money came from in-kind donations in the form of educational materials, inclusive of books and computers.“We truly value the sacrifices that many of them make to their families and communities evidenced by their generous gifts, whether through philanthropic donations or sharing of their time, skills and expertise,” she said.The Minister said that Jamaican nationals overseas have also provided an important niche market for non-traditional products.She said that products, such as yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, dasheen, pumpkin, mangoes, breadfruit, callaloo and ackee are now top agricultural exports to the United Kingdom, United States of America (USA) and Canada.“During the period 2005 to 2015, the USA represented the major market for agricultural exports,” she added.The Foreign Affairs Minister said that the Government is committed to removing the bureaucratic hurdles that hinder investments.She cited the Economic Growth Council, which she said was created “to remove the bureaucratic barriers that exists and encourage innovation and a level of pragmatism in our government processes.”Turning to the study which will highlight the true value of the Diaspora, Minister Johnson Smith said it will enable the government and the private sector to design innovative strategies that are relevant to the Diaspora, taking into account their unique needs and preferences in their respective locations.“It is imperative that we secure empirical data of the current and potential value of the partnership between Jamaica and its Diaspora,” she stated.