JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has lauded the European Union (EU) for its continued support to Jamaica, which has seen the organisation contributing an estimated €1.2 billion or J$170 billion in development assistance over the last 40 years.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller said the EU’s contribution to the many facets of Jamaica’s development goes beyond activities under the European Development Fund programme, but also involves helping Jamaica to navigate and cushion the drastic changes in the global trade environment.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that the EU has also been a significant partner in the Government’s ongoing efforts to transform the sugar industry in Jamaica.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has lauded the European Union (EU) for its continued support to Jamaica, which has seen the organisation contributing an estimated €1.2 billion or J$170 billion in development assistance over the last 40 years.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the EU’s contribution to the many facets of Jamaica’s development goes beyond activities under the European Development Fund programme, but also involves helping Jamaica to navigate and cushion the drastic changes in the global trade environment.

“I view our ongoing partnership with the EU as critical support for Jamaica’s social transformation and economic growth agenda,” the Prime Minister said.

She was addressing the launch of the 40th anniversary of Jamaica-EU partnership celebrations at Jamaica House on February 12. The launch also saw the unveiling of the Partnership Plaque, which gives a pictorial representation of the Jamaica-EU relationship.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the EU’s contributions to Jamaica over the last four decades have been significant, spanning a number of sectors, including education, security, agriculture and rural development, public financial management and private sector enhancement.

She further noted that the EU’s support of the local agricultural sector, especially the banana and sugar industries, is noteworthy.

“The special framework of assistance for the banana support programme has been a major source of help to banana farmers and former banana growers, as we diversify our agricultural product in light of changing international realities,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that the EU has also been a significant partner in the Government’s ongoing efforts to transform the sugar industry in Jamaica.

“I remain thankful for the EU’s support of the Sugar Estates Barracks Relocation Project to move families, including some 900 persons, from deplorable living conditions in old plantation barracks to their own modern houses,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that the Sugar Transformation Programme has been important in the overall goal of poverty reduction. Under programme, more than 5,000 sugar workers and small cane farmers who were displaced as a result of the sugar cane sector divestment, have been provided with assistance.

In his remarks, Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, said he is particularly pleased that of the €1.2 billion allocated by the EU over the last 40 years to support programmes in Jamaica, some 80 per cent has been grant resources.

“There is no other development partner that has made such a contribution. And I think it is very appropriate for me to say how appreciated this contribution is, especially in the context of our current economic reform programme and our Extended Fund Facility agreement with the International Monetary Fund,” he added.

Dr. Phillips said over the years, Jamaica has also benefited tremendously from the trade component of its partnership with the EU, which has seen the country taking advantage of the many opportunities provided under several cooperation agreements.

For her part, Head of the Delegation, European Union to Jamaica, Her Excellency Paola Amadei, said the EU remains committed to strengthening its relationship with Jamaica, as it strives to assist in poverty reduction and the creation of equal opportunities for all.

 

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