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  • The Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board has compiled a successful list of accomplishments since the staging of the last Diaspora Conference in 2013.
  • State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, who presented a report card at yesterday’s (June 14) opening of the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, cited the establishment of the Diaspora Conference Implementation Council as among the successes.
  • He noted that the discussions at the level of the Advisory Board are strategically framed against the background of the National Development Plan.

The Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board has compiled a successful list of accomplishments since the staging of the last Diaspora Conference in 2013.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, who presented a report card at yesterday’s (June 14) opening of the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, cited the establishment of the Diaspora Conference Implementation Council as among the successes.

“It comprises representatives of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, our legacy partners…as well as civil society groups,” he informed.

Other major achievements coming out of the 2013 conference include: the successful lobby for adjustments to the United Kingdom (UK) Air Passenger Duty (APD), to reduce the cost of flights between Jamaica and England; working with the Ministry of Health for the establishment of an advisory board to streamline medical missions; as well as the setting up of a Health for Life Foundation to facilitate Diaspora contributions to that sector.

A number of hospital liaison officers were appointed to work with their counterparts in the Diaspora, which saw Jamaica receiving 436 of a targeted 1,000 blood pressure machines.

In addition, partnerships were created to enhance education in the island, which saw collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in securing some US$250,000 for the training and enhancement of students in numeracy and literacy.

Mr. Brown said the board also successfully established an International Migration and Development Policy, a National Diaspora Policy, and the Mapping Jamaica Diaspora project, the latter of which is aimed at creating a database of skilled overseas nationals.

Already, some 2,000 persons have been registered under the Mapping Project, with the possibility that the figure could reach 3,900 shortly.

Mr. Brown noted that the board has also reaped success in getting members of the Diaspora to invest in the creative industries and sport.

The State Minister said the achievements of the Diaspora Advisory Board are proof that the biennial conferences are result-driven. “It’s not just a talk shop; (the events) serve to deepen and strengthen the relation between the Government of Jamaica and the Diaspora,” he said.

He noted that the discussions at the level of the Advisory Board are strategically framed against the background of the National Development Plan.

“The objectives include presentation of strategies to consolidate and expand contributions from the Diaspora in health care and education, exploration of opportunities for Jamaica to work in collaboration with the Diaspora to deal with policies, which affect them where they reside, as well as those which have implications for Jamaica,” he pointed out.

The 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference runs from June 13 to 18 under the theme: ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linkage for Growth and Prosperity’.