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Story Highlights

  • The Government has signed six support agreements with the European Union (EU), which provide $11.5 billion of grant-funding to crucial areas of the society.
  • Jamaica’s strict adherence to sound fiscal management is part of what has enabled the EU’s continued support to the country.
  • The targeted parishes are Kingston, St. Andrew, Clarendon, St. James, and St. Catherine.

The Government has signed six support agreements with the European Union (EU), which provide $11.5 billion of grant-funding to crucial areas of the society.

The agreements expand several programmes that are already being supported by the EU in the sugar industry, justice, governance projects, community development initiatives, poverty reduction and income generating projects, and support in technical capacity building.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held at Jamaica House, on May 9, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said the sacrifice being made by Jamaicans under the current economic programme is “bearing fruits”.

She noted that Jamaica’s strict adherence to sound fiscal management is part of what has enabled the EU’s continued support to the country.

“Transparency and accountability in the management of our financial affairs is paramount. If we were not financially prudent, we would not be signing these agreements. Our multilateral partners would not be supporting us, if we were not demonstrating that we are serious about managing our affairs,” Mrs. Simpson Miller told her audience.

She informed that some 100 communities in five parishes will be benefiting from the poverty reduction component of the support, and said it is part of Government’s thrust to create enabling opportunities to improve lives.

“Its emphasis on the unemployed female headed households is most welcomed ,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The targeted parishes are Kingston, St. Andrew, Clarendon, St. James, and St. Catherine.

The Prime Minister outlined some of the expected results of the poverty reduction programme as “improved quality access to basic social and economic infrastructure and services; as well as increased income generation and employment opportunities.”

She emphasized that her administration is committed to ensuring that children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups, receive the best quality of life, and so has earmarked $22.5 billion for  social support programmes. This include increase support for the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

“We have made provisions to the tune of $500 million for our pensioners, and have increased PATH payments by 15 percent, while raising the transportation subsidy for those on PATH, and expanding our school feeding programme,” the Prime Minister stated.

Mrs. Simpson Miller and Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, signed on behalf of Jamaica, while Head of the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Her Excellency, Paola Amadei, signed for the EU.

The Prime Minister, while thanking the EU for its support to Jamaica, said greater partnership will grow from the almost four decades of friendship between the two.

Included in the agreements are: the Accompanying Measures for the Sugar Protocol 2013 (AMS2013); Justice Security Accountability and Transparency Project (JSAT); Poverty Reduction Programme IV (PRP IV); Public Financial Management Support Programme (PFMSP); Economic Partnership Agreement Capacity Building Project II (EPPA II); and the Technical Co-operation Facility V (TCFV).