THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS JOBS FOR THE HOMELESS
According to Desmond McKenzie, Jamaica’s Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, employment for homeless individuals is under consideration. Discussions between the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation and the Ministry are addressing the best way to employ the homeless and how to help them earn a living while they attempt to find places to live. McKenzie made his remarks at the Wellness Day of Care for Homeless Persons on April 24, 2022. Delroy Williams, the mayor of Kinston, said targeted aid will represent a portion of the ongoing program designed to help the homeless in the Corporate Area.
REPORT INDICATES MANY JAMAICANS FACING FOOD INSECURITY
The World Food Program (WFP) survey found that some 40 percent of Jamaicans reduced their consumption of food, and 98 percent reported that food prices have increased. The global survey was undertaken in January and February of 2022 and represented 6,000 households in 22 countries and territories. Nine in ten of the surveyed Jamaicans said they have altered their shopping behavior. The WFP report based on its Caribbean COVID-19 Food Security and Livelihoods Impact Survey in February 2022 concluded that the general picture of recovery is still “deeply troubling” in spite of positive signs that recording is underway. Results estimated that 2.8 million people in the English-speaking Caribbean suffer from food insecurity, an increase of one million since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and a rise of 44 percent over results from 2021. Rising food and input costs were cited as contributing to the rising levels of food insecurity, according to the WFP, a food-aid branch of the United Nations.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN HAITI FLEE HOMES DUE TO GANG VIOLENCE
Fighting among gangs in Haiti has resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people and wounded some two dozen others. Still thousands of other Haitian residents have fled their homes as a result of the fighting, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency. According to authorities, the fighting started on Sunday, April 24, 2022, in four neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince, with some dozen homes burned down. Schools and businesses have closed due to the violence as well. The recent battles have arisen during an increase in violence and kidnappings in the country as gangs gain strength and attempt to control more territory in the power vacuum created at the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse on July 7, 2022. Haitians are demanding that Prime Minister Ariel Henry take action. Henry’s administration is receiving aid from the international community to support the area’s underfunded and understaffed police force.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
QUESTIONS ARISE ABOUT RADIO PROGRAMMING AND JAMAICAN DIASPORA
Jamaican radio programming is an important element in linking Jamaicans in the Diaspora with their home island, especially the advanced markets of Florida, New York City, and Washington DC. Questions have arisen about whether the programming is effective in meeting the needs of the Diaspora community, however. Dermot Hussey, a broadcasting veteran, has argued that radio is meant to provide ways for the community to express itself and a means for people to become socialized via give and take. In contrast to pervious generations when the Jamaican community got its new through the radio and newspapers, current generations experience a shift in how information is collected and spread. Music is now the easiest way to engage the community, according to Milford Edwards also known as New York radio personality Ras Imel, who describes Jamaican radio in the tri-state area as “dance hall hooked up to a transmitter.” He believes that Jamaican radio programmers do not want to make a difference and force Jamaicans in the Diaspora to get their news from mainstream media broadcasters like CNN and Fox News. Jamaican radio programmers have also failed to take advantage of the many new channels for distribution available through digital media and continue to do what they did in the 1980s instead of moving to the totally new landscape of the broadcasting industry.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY HAMPERED BY SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES
Serious supply chain problems may cause worse disruptions than the COVID-19 pandemic, said Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine are having major impacts on tourists and local residents, affecting both supplies of commodities and labor. Bartlett, the co-chair of the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council and the found of Jamaica’s Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center (GTRCMC), said that the nation’s recovery is facing significant challenges arising from damaged supply chains. He said the world needs to realize that tourism is vulnerable to supply chain disruption as tourists and locals compete for supplies. Additionally, there is a shortage of workers in the tourism sector because people have moved to other jobs, creating a higher demand for new employees who require training. While acknowledging these problems, Bartlett also said that 2022 could be a record year in regard to the number of tourists from the United Kingdom visiting Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICANS MISSING OUT ON ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC REVENUE
While dancehall is one of the original types of electronic dance music (EDM) and contributes to the high EDM revenues enjoyed by the music industry, Jamaican shows had to major dancehall EDM hit recordings in 2021. Jamaican artist Diplo, who is involved in the develop of EDM in the country, ranks Number 7, but there are no dancehall or Jamaican DJs represented in the “DJ Mag Top 100,” according to a report on the list, which touted improvements in diversity in 2021. The EDM industry saw global revenues of $4.5 billion in 2021, according to data presented at the 2022 Ibiza IMS. Show from Las Vegas in the United States contributed $600 million alone. The global dance music industry grew by 71 percent, and 64 percent of all music NFTs were issued by electronic artists, but Jamaican artists are not well represented in the industry.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICANS SHINE AT OPENING OF PENN RELAYS
The Penn Relays opened on April 28, 2022, and Jamaican athletes have already made their mark. Edwin Allen’s team, comprised of the Clayton twins, Brandy Hall and Shenequa Vassell, clocked 44.64 seconds to win. The team led all of the six Jamaican school qualifiers in the Girls’ Championships of America High School 4×100-meter relays. Edwin Allen has the fastest high school record in history with a time of 42.28 seconds this season. Cedricka Williams of Holmwood Technical achieved the first victory for Jamaica’s high school athletes with a season’s best throw of 54.00 meters in the Championships of America High School discus event. Williams is the IAAF World Under-20 ranked athlete in the discus and won at the Carifta Games.