Japan Funds Crime/Violence Prevention Programme


The Jamaica Community Crime and Violence Prevention Programme, financed by a grant of US$2.65 million from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), was officially launched on Thursday (June 3) at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston.
The programme will support the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) efforts to reduce crime and violence in high risk and vulnerable inner-city communities.
Managing Director of JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, implored all Members of Parliament (MPs), whose communities will be receiving funding, to ensure widespread participation of all ‘at risk’ beneficiaries in the programme.
“It is imperative, moreso, to see to it that the various programmes to be carried out within the next year have a broad population impact, especially on our youth, who need to be engaged in more productive livelihoods, opting to refrain from deviant, criminal activities,” Mrs. Gillings said.
She also stated that JSIF was looking forward to working with all government ministries, state agencies, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), consultants and community groups, who will be playing an integral role in the crime prevention and reduction activities.
The JSDF grant is divided into two main components, with component ‘A’ having a budgetary allocation of US$850,000. It is being implemented with the support of the Violence Prevention Alliance, and will assist in the development and implementation of a crime and violence system, or crime observatory, under consultation with Mona GeoInformatics Limited.
Under Component ‘B’ of the grant, a total of US$1.6 million has been allocated to the Jamaica Violence Action Fund to support innovative approaches to crime and violence prevention, through demand driven projects developed and implemented by NGOs and community based organisations.
The JAVA fund will support sub-projects in three thematic areas namely: mediation and conflict resolutions; social programmes for youth at risk, aimed at violence prevention; and social support services for vulnerable families in selected communities.
Member of Parliament for South West St. Catherine, Hon. Everald Warmington, said he had no doubt that the initiative will be “just as successful” as other undertakings by the JSIF.
“When the residents of a community are empowered, and have a sense of belonging and being a part of the wider society, they can determine how they want to live and the type of community in which they want to live.no one can dictate to them how they must live their lives,” Mr. Warmington said.
Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew, Maxine Henry Wilson, noted that communities participating in the programme will have no option, but to make it work.
“We cannot afford to allow it to fail, and we have stereotyped many of our communities and we believe that what they have are just combustible materials waiting for matches to explode. But in many of those communities, we have some of the most reliable, determined and ambitious persons,” Mrs. Henry-Wilson said.
World Bank Special Representative, Dr. Badrul Haque, noted that crime and violence in one community can create problems for all.
“Jamaica cannot afford to continue this way, so it is very pleasing to hear Members of Parliament speak so boldly against crime and violence, and that is why we are grateful to be able to participate in this launch of the Jamaica Crime and Violence Prevention Programme,” Dr. Haque said.
Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiroshi Yamaguchi, noted that the Government of Japan has continued to play an important role in the area of development, which is vital to Jamaica’s future. “We are well aware that Jamaica is in need of this project, which is aiming at dramatically improving the crime and violence situation, with clearer insights into the future development of inner-cities,” Mr. Yamaguchi said.
Some of the communities benefiting from the programme are Dela Vega City; Homestead; Waterloo; Rivoli; York Town; Nannyville Gardens; Rose Town; Greenwich Town; Delacree Park; and Olympic Gardens.

JIS Social