Hundreds of residents of Canterbury, Albion Lane, William Street and Paradise Rowe in downtown Montego Bay, were on Tuesday July 21, 2020, the recipient of much needed care packages and other support, courtesy of the St. James Municipal Corporation and UN-Habitat, under a joint COVID19 Response Programme implemented by both agencies.
The residents were also presented with COVID-19 educational materials, hand sanitizer and mask. The masks were produced by residents of the communities and were purchased by the Corporation as part of the support to small business operators in the communities.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony held in Canterbury, Montego Bay’s Mayor, Councillor Homer Davis said the activities under the UN-HABITAT/St. James Municipal Corporation COVID-19 Support Programme could not have come at a better time, as the residents continue to deal with the negative impact of the pandemic.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis (centre) addressing a ceremony in Canterbury on Tuesday July 21, 2020 where the COVID-19 support programme started. The programme is being implemented by UN-HABITAT and the St. James Municipal Corporation. Standing with Mayor Davis at left is Councillor Richard Vernon who represents Montego Bay South, the division in which the community falls and at right is the Chief Executive Officer of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Mr. Gerald Lee.
Mayor Davis said “I know that residents are still being negatively impacted by the pandemic and this support is really what the doctor ordered for the communities. I must urge the citizens to be thankful for the support and take the necessary steps to preserve the integrity of the programme. I also urge you the citizens to make a concerted effort to take all the necessary precautions to guard against the spread of COVID-19…which include the wearing of masks, observing social distance and the proper washing and sanitizing of hands”.
He said the programme will run for five weeks, and that the Corporation will be seeking to identify ways and means to have it sustained.
Meanwhile, Richard Vernon, Councillor for the Montego Bay South Division where the targeted areas fall, expressed uncontrolled happiness in being able to deliver on a commitment made to the citizens to give them some support due to the impact which COVID-19 has had on them.
“This is a wonderful day for me as your Councillor and I am sure it is also a great day for you the citizens of these communities. I understand and feel the pressure that COVID-19 has brought on you and thanks to UN-HABITAT and the St. James Municipal Corporation we are able to take some steps in reaching out to support you”, Councillor Vernon said.
He added that “I am really indebted to the Corporation and UN-HABITAT and the team which worked on this programme, headed by Dr. Joan Dove for the effort in bring us to the first phase of the implementation stage. We will ensure that during the five weeks of this programme every resident of these communities receive some level of support. I must ask you the recipients to play your part in not only preserving the integrity of this programme, but to ensure that we all work as a team in the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19”.
The UN-HABITAT/St. James Municipal Corporation COVID-19 Response Programme is being carried out at a cost of US$100,000.