Philanthropist Joe Issa, says greater facilitation of charities will benefit Jamaica

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Founder of Cool Charities Joe Issa, has welcomed the government’s commitment to making it easier for charities to donate to Jamaica, especially from the Diaspora.

Submitted: July 06, 2017

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Submitted: July 06, 2017

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Founder of Cool Charities Joe Issa, has welcomed the government’s commitment to making it easier for charities to donate to Jamaica, especially from the Diaspora.

“It’s great to know we are about to see an end to the bureaucracy that has hindered foreign charity groups in making donations to Jamaica. I’ve heard of the numerous problems people encounter at Customs when clearing valuable equipment donated to hospitals here.

“It’s a real put off, and many simply stop making donations to Jamaica to the detriment of the country, if you consider that these are life-saving equipment which we do not have or are lacking in many hospitals,” says Issa, whose Cool Charities donate equipment to schools in St. Mary and St. Ann, where his Cool Group is headquartered.  

Issa argues, “We’re not a rich country; in fact, our sector budgets are already strained; so the more help we can get, the better, especially from the Diaspora. So it makes sense to facilitate the process,” adding that in addition to the health sector, others like education, agriculture, and social programmes will benefit as well.”

Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton recently announced that his ministry would be working towards strengthening the secretariat responsible for charitable activities.

In addition, the health ministry would also be forging stronger partnerships with agencies such as Jamaica Customs to promote a free flow of contributions aimed at developing the health sector.

“One of the things that I have recognised is that too often, persons want to do good but hit roadblocks along the way, whether at Customs, or interfacing with the hospitals, or any other such institution…Frankly speaking, we shouldn’t make it difficult for people who want to do good,” the minister was quoted by the Gleaner as saying.

Minister Tufton also announced plans to forge better partnerships with private and public entities to ensure a continued source of financial support directed at the health sector.

“In terms of this Government going forward, we are looking at public-private partnerships, for example, as one form of financing and support…We are looking at the role of charities. We are also looking at the establishment of some sort of insurance scheme to complement and support the expenditure on health care.”

In stressing the significance of donations to Jamaica, he said, “I looked at the figures for last year, and in terms of contribution, the estimates suggest anywhere between $3.5 to $4-billion worth of value that flows from persons who have a good heart.”


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