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Story Highlights

  • The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has provided US$248 million in loan support for three key government initiatives.
  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, signed agreements formalising the provisions during a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Monday (February 26).
  • Mr, Shaw, who emphasised the importance of the public-sector transformation programme, reiterated that 84 State entities are being targeted for closure, divestment, merging or subsuming back into Central Government over the next three years.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has provided US$248 million in loan support for three key government initiatives.

A total of US$160 million has been earmarked for the Public Sector Transformation Project; US$68 million for the National Identification System (NIDS); and US$20 million to further boost national security technology inputs.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, signed agreements formalising the provisions during a ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Monday (February 26).

The signing coincided with the seventh annual IDB Caribbean Governors’ Conference, which was held today (February 27), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

Mr, Shaw, who emphasised the importance of the public-sector transformation programme, reiterated that 84 State entities are being targeted for closure, divestment, merging or subsuming back into Central Government over the next three years.

Noting that the NIDS implementation is “absolutely important” for Jamaica, the Minister said the concept is similar to what obtains in the United States where “everybody born gets a social security card… and that is (the) main instrument that identifies you from birth”.

“I would like to suggest that the backing of the IDB for the promulgation of the NIDS is, I think, ultimate proof of the efficacy of this programme,” he added.

Regarding the provision for national security, Mr. Shaw said “we simply need to bring more technology into the business of crime-fighting”, in order to strengthen public safety and citizen security.

For his part, Mr. Moreno said the IDB’s latest support forms part of its commitment to assist Jamaica to embark on the engagements that will yield higher levels of growth and development.

“I think Jamaica is (experiencing) the best moment possible, because you have really become a poster of what a country can do when it decides to take on the problems. We have started to see (the results) already in how the debt levels are (declining), how growth is coming back and how unemployment is coming down,” he said.

Mr. Moreno said while this is the result of the sacrifice of the Jamaican people, “it really began (when successive Administrations) decided that it was time to take the bull by the horns”.

The seventh annual Caribbean Governors’ Meeting was hosted by the Bank of Jamaica under the theme ‘Jump Caribbean’.

It focused on helping the region to embrace the digital revolution as a developmental tool.

The IDB has indicated that it wants to improve the capacity of the region to tap into technology and apply innovative methods as a means to solve problems, improve productivity, generate employment and advance development.