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A Year On, Millions of Jamaican Dollars from Global Covid-19 Telethon Sit Idle
Millions of Jamaican dollars raised from a worldwide telethon last April to buy “urgently-needed” personal protective equipment (PPEs) appear to be sitting idle in government bank accounts with no clear direction as to who is responsible for its use, 18º North has learned.
The news comes as healthcare workers complain about inadequate protective gear to confront the country’s deadliest surge in coronavirus.
The six-hour telethon was put on by Jamaica’s ministries of culture, foreign affairs and health, and featured international celebrities like Usain Bolt, Koffee, Jimmy Cliff, Sean Paul, Shaggy, members of the Marley family, Gloria Estefan, Wyclef Jean and many others, alongside performances from numerous local acts.
Organizations and individuals, both local and foreign, donated about $63 million (US$439,729), according to Culture Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange to purchase PPEs portrayed by the government to be “urgently-needed.”
Video: PPEs were billed as “urgently-needed” in this government promo for the Covid-19 Telethon that aired on TVJ’s YouTube channel.
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