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Story Highlights

  • The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP), being implemented by the Government, will improve the housing infrastructure within informal communities while also addressing the social needs of residents.
  • The Government is set to launch Phase Two of the programme, which will run from January to September 2015.
  • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) has provided US$125,000 to undertake the second phase, which will involve action planning and programme document formulation.

The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP), being implemented by the Government, will improve the housing infrastructure within informal communities while also addressing the social needs of residents.

The Government is set to launch Phase Two of the programme, which will run from January to September 2015.  The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) has provided US$125,000 to undertake the second phase, which will involve action planning and programme document formulation.

It will be implemented in three towns, Old Harbour/Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine; May Pen, Clarendon; and Montego Bay, St. James.

UN Habitat Coordinator in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Alicia Smith, said the programme, which is being implemented in three phases, will have a positive social impact.

“This programme is really good. It does not only deal with infrastructure, but it will also deal with the social sustainability of the community members. Going into the communities, we realise that they are interested in capacity building that will help to sustain their social livelihood,” she said.

Ms. Smith, who was addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held on January 21, said residents of informal communities have been proactive, with some already implementing their own social programmes and sharing plans for future initiatives.

“The main thing that we realise in all the communities that we have visited is that the residents really want to participate and they need the help. They have been showing signs that they have been doing so on a regular basis without our help, so just imagine when we go in to formalise the process of what they are supposed to do,” she stated.

PSUP is a regional project of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), in collaboration with the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Community.

Jamaica is among 33 countries benefitting from the programme, which is designed to improve the living conditions of the urban poor living in slums.

Segment one was administered by the University of Technology and encompassed the rapid profiling of the country’s cities and towns. Phase Three will see the pilot implementation of the programme in one selected community.

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