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  • The country will now be better able to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters through a provision of $96 million (¥100 million) in grant funding from the Government of Japan, for the purchase of medical supplies and heavy equipment.
  • Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips; and Japan’s Ambassador to Jamaica, his Excellency, Yasuo Takase, signed Exchange Notes for the funding, during a ceremony on February 26 at the Ministry in Kingston.
  • To be supplied by Japan, the items include medical, health care and school supplies; building construction, mining and civil works equipment; and environmental and meteorological measuring devices.

The country will now be better able to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters through a provision of $96 million (¥100 million) in grant funding from the Government of Japan, for the purchase of medical supplies and heavy equipment.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips; and Japan’s Ambassador to Jamaica, his Excellency, Yasuo Takase, signed Exchange Notes for the funding, during a ceremony on February 26 at the Ministry in Kingston.

To be supplied by Japan, the items include medical, health care and school supplies; building construction, mining and civil works equipment; and environmental and meteorological measuring devices.

In his remarks, Mr. Phillips expressed “deep appreciation” to the people and Government of Japan for this “very kind gesture”, which will help to strengthen the strong ties of friendship and co-operation between both countries, which has been ongoing for 50 years.

“It is very emblematic of the long process and programme of collaboration between our two countries, and I think symptomatic also of the fact that the future of co-operation between our two countries remains bright,” he said.

The Minister said the grant aid is of great value to Jamaica, particularly in the area of disaster mitigation; and will also assist in the economic and social development of both countries.

Dr. Phillips thanked the Government of Japan for its continued programme of support over the years for projects in the areas of education, social security, disaster mitigation, and health. This, he said, has been facilitated through loans, grants and technical assistance administered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Embassy of Japan.

“We have had concessionary yen loans for infrastructural development and grants used to support specialists and volunteers and provide technical assistance to Non-Governmental Organisations as well as to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Government of Jamaica,” he added.

Mr. Takase said the grant assistance is in line with the new policy of Japan towards Jamaica and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at large.

He noted that Japan intends to support the efforts of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to overcome their vulnerability to challenges imposed by the environment and climate change issues. “This should improve their capacity in the area of disaster risk management,” he said.

The procurement of the equipment will be managed by a committee that will comprise of a selection of persons from the Government of Jamaica, the Embassy of Japan and the Japan International Co-operation System (JICS).

JICS is a Japanese procurement specialised institution that has been assigned by the Government of Japan to help with the implementation of the grant aid.