PM Thanks EU for J$2.3 Billion in Budget Support Payments

Photo: Donald Delahaye Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (centre), looks on as Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips (left), shakes hands with European Union (EU) Director for Cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, Jolita Butkeviciene, following the signing of agreements for budget support payments of $2.3 billion from the EU to the Jamaican Government, at Jamaica House on Tuesday, November 17.

Story Highlights

  • Government today received budget support payments from the European Union totaling J$2.3 billion to support debt reduction, growth enhancement and poverty reduction in sugar dependent areas in keeping with the commitments of the Government of Jamaica under the national Economic Reform Programme.
  • Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed gratitude for the payments, which she notes represent a vote of confidence by the EU in the Government’s successful implementation of the Economic Reform Programme.
  • She said that “Government commits to doing our part to ensure the preservation and expansion of the social and economic gains achieved so far.”

Government today received budget support payments from the European Union totaling J$2.3 billion to support debt reduction, growth enhancement and poverty reduction in sugar dependent areas in keeping with the commitments of the Government of Jamaica under the national Economic Reform Programme.

Delivering the keynote address at Government of Jamaica – European Union (EU) Cooperation Hand-over Ceremony at Jamaica House on Tuesday, November 17, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressed gratitude for the payments, which she notes represent a vote of confidence by the EU in the Government’s successful implementation of the Economic Reform Programme.

“These payments are being disbursed because my Administration has consistently met the economic targets agreed with the EU,” the Prime Minister said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller added that “the EU and the Government are in agreement on the urgency of further reducing the national debt, increasing the rate and level of economic growth, and continuing to improve the standard of living of the Jamaican people.” She said that “Government commits to doing our part to ensure the preservation and expansion of the social and economic gains achieved so far.”

The Budget Payments builds on a longstanding programme of support to Jamaica by the EU. Over the 40 years of partnership and cooperation between the 2 countries, the EU has been the largest provider of grant resources to assist in various aspects of Jamaica’s social and economic development. EU projects have covered a wide ranging of areas including budget support, public financial management, water supplies, building schools, justice, poverty reduction, agriculture, reconstruction after natural disasters, highway construction, tax reform, public sector modernization, drug abuse prevention, environmental protection and climate change and health care among other areas.

In the area of health care, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude for the recent support of the project to reduce maternal and infant deaths. “I am particularly pleased that in the area of improved healthcare, Jamaica is also pursuing with major funding from the EU, the project for the reduction of deaths of mothers and children,” the Prime Minister said.

Noting that she views Jamaica’s partnership with the EU as critical support for Jamaica’s social transformation and economic growth agenda, the Prime Minister said that “Already, with the support of the EU, we have made great gains in improving the business environment, increasing competitiveness and removing barriers to trade.” Notably, Jamaica was recently adjudged by the World Bank and Forbes Magazine as the best country in the Caribbean in which to do business.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, I extend sincere gratitude to the EU for its support of social and economic development in our country,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

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