The Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) has received post Hurricane assistance from the governments of Canada and Spain, amounting to CDN$1.8 million and $250,000 Euros, respectively.
Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, Rafael Jover (left), signs a contract as Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the National Reconstruction (ONR), Danville Walker, looks on.
The money from Canada, which is being disbursed through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will go towards the recovery of the agricultural sector, primarily fisheries, while the allocation from Spain will be used for the wider post Ivan reconstruction effort.
ONR’s Chief Executive Officer, Danville Walker received the funds today (Dec. 17) at two separate presentation ceremonies held at his Oxford Road office in Kingston.
Agriculture Minister, Roger Clarke, who was on hand for the presentation from Canada, remarked that the Canadian government has consistently responded to Jamaica’s needs.
Through the allocation, CIDA has committed to render help to farmers and fishermen by way of repairing farms and fishing areas severely damaged or destroyed by the hurricane.
Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Claudio Valle, said that Canada has long assisted farming in Jamaica, pointing to the provision of fertilizer for farmers, exposing them to new techniques and assisting in the development of the cattle industry in the 1940s. “We value our relations with Jamaica,” Commissioner Valle said, “and we strongly believe in this friendship and strengthening these relations.”
Turning to the aid being given to the fishing industry, the Commissioner said “we have been working with them on a number of projects in the past in terms of building up the fishermen cooperatives around the island, and also doing some environmental work with them.”
In his remarks, Mr. Walker said the assistance would go a far way in assisting the replanting and provision of inputs to get the farmers and the fisheries divisions back to the pre-Ivan stage. “We are hoping that through the programmes being out together, that some infrastructure work can be done that will have even a longer term effect in certain areas of agriculture,” Mr. Walker stated.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica Rafael Jover, who made the presentation on behalf of his government, indicated that a joint account would be opened at the National Commercial Bank with both the Embassy and the ONR as signatories.