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The Government and the European Union (EU) have signed a Euro 10.1 million agreement to provide funding for the second phase of the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP II).
“This is a very significant agreement between the EU and the Government for the poverty reduction programme.and I want to thank the European Union for their continued support for our development process,” Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies said at the signing ceremony at the Ministry’s offices at Heroes Circle, on (June 29).
The programme, which will be implemented over a six-year period, targets poverty alleviation through sustainable growth, with emphasis on the promotion of community safety and the reduction of criminal behaviour in volatile and vulnerable communities.
Head of the European Commission Delegation, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni said the programme is aimed at empowering community members to undertake projects within their communities with special focus on activities that will uplift communities marred by violence.
“The main purpose of the programme is to improve the socio-economic conditions and quality of life in communities with special emphasis on volatile areas,” Ambassador Alemanni informed.
“This programme will be community-driven, in that community-based organisations will be expected to submit proposals to the steering committee for consideration, thereby placing the communities in the driver’s seat when it comes to their own development,” he added.
The PRP II will be implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Justice.
“Poverty reduction can only be achieved if communities claim ownership of the programme and if there is a genuine partnership by all stakeholders. There should be support for the development of local expertise, the mobilization of resources and the full responsibility and involvement of the community in the conception and implementation of development projects,” Ambassador Alemanni stated.
The programme is expected to implement at least 40 socio-economic sub-projects; establish benevolent societies as part of the community capacity building process; and construct a family court in Lucea, incorporating international standards.
Since the inception of the poverty reduction programme in 2002, Jamaica has been allocated a total of $1.5 billion, including today’s allocation.