JIS News

European Commission Head of Delegation, Ambassador Marco Mazzochi-Alemani has described financial assistance to Jamaica from the European Union as ‘money well spent’.
Ambassador Alemani was speaking at the official handing-over of $3.6 billion for budget support to Jamaica on Tuesday (September 1).
He said the Government has initiated major action in the security and justice fields with new legislation. The additional human resources in the judiciary has contributed to quickening its pace; the expansion of training facilities for the Jamaica Constabulary Force has made it possible for additional recruitment of better trained officers, and serious tackling of disciplinary and corruption cases, the Ambassador said.
Continuing, Ambassador Alemanni said, “this is an important juncture in the life of Jamaica when the global crisis makes it necessary for the country to appeal to the international community to get through hard times which were compounded by pre-existing structural weaknesses. We are especially gratified to take stock of the foresightedness of your Government and of the European Commission which two years ago concluded budget support agreements that are now bearing abundant fruit.”
Ambassador Alemani added that such agreements focus on the two key constraints of Jamaica’s economy and society which are high debt and high crime.
“We are also disbursing the total amount of a specially crafted programme to alleviate the suffering inflicted by Tropical Storm Gustav. It is not by chance that we stand steadfastly by your country when dealing with serious ills.
“I want to emphasise that if we are today in a position to release J$3.6 billion in grants directly into Jamaica’s treasury, this is due in spite of the global crisis to the implementation of the first steps of a large number of reforms that your Government has on its own agenda. They go from fiscal reform to better management of debt, from transparency in public procurement to streamlining business procedures” explained Mr. Alemani.
The Ambassador acknowledged the contribution of the many who made it possible for the European Union (EU) to reap the rewards such as the Ministries of Finance, Justice, and National Security, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and members of staff of the EU.
Participating in the ceremony were Minister of Finance, Hon. Audley Shaw, Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson; Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne and officials of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

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