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Jamaica: Money Woes Hit Local NGOs As COVID-19 Wreaks Economic Havoc

WHILE GOVERNMENTS battle COVID-19 to save lives, environmental NGOs, including those here in Jamaica, are waging a war of their own to protect natural resources as funding dries up, given the economic demands of the pandemic.

Suzanne Stanley, chief executive officer for the Kingston-based Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), said they are facing difficult times, but are prepared to continue their work.

“We are very concerned about the implications for JET. This (pandemic) will have implications for the bottom line in the future,” she said.

“Thankfully, to address this, we are in contact with our (existing) donors. All have been provided with updates on the projects and the activities to be delivered, and we are working together and are committed to ensuring that the projects are delivered once some normality can resume,” Stanley added.

Among their initiatives that are impacted is the Schools Environment Programme, a set of activities which have had to be pushed back to the next school year. As for their ‘Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica’ national campaign, which is supported by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, they are now two years in with one year remaining. When that third year of activities will begin is unclear at this time.

“The end of this phase actually coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19 in Jamaica. We are doing a kind of final reporting on that and are in discussions with the donor about when the next phase of the project will begin,” Stanley explained.

JET, like other entities across Jamaica, have also moved their operations online, as team members work from the comfort and security of their homes.

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