KINGSTON — Minister of Finance, Hon. Audley Shaw, has expressed gratitude to the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) for its $327 million (£2.4 million) in debt relief for the fiscal year 2010/11.
The relief was granted on past official development assistance loans (ODA), through the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Mr. Shaw reaffirmed the strong and historic relationship between the UK and Jamaica, in saying thanks for the relief.
“We are grateful for the UK Government’s generous and continued support demonstrated on a number of levels, not the least of which is this act of support by DFID,” he said. Mr. Shaw also emphasized the Government’s “unwavering commitment” to maintaining fiscal discipline and instituting economic and social reforms to improve living conditions for Jamaicans.
The debt relief was made following an assessment of selected indicators from the Government’s Medium Term Framework (MTF) and the National Development Plan (Vision 2030). Assessments for the next three years of the CDI programme will be more closely aligned with the IMF and other multilateral programme monitoring.
Since 1997 the UK has given nearly 88 million pounds (sterling) in bilateral aid and debt relief to Jamaica, which has helped to support initiatives in security, justice, health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, public sector modernisation and private sector development. DFID’s work in Jamaica is part of its Caribbean programme, which aims to promote economic growth and address risks to the potential for growth, such as security and climate change.
In making the announcement Monday, UK Minister of State for International Development, the Rt. Hon. Alan Duncan, noted that the UK recognizes that the macro-economic environment remains challenging, and that the next few years will be critical to reducing the size of the public debt and increasing the efficiency of the public sector.
He commended Jamaica’s efforts to reduce crime over the past several months, and placed on record the UK Government’s continued commitment to supporting Jamaica’s efforts to address the security and safety of communities and to improve the performance of the police.
“I look forward to continuing my Government’s close working relationship with the Government of Jamaica towards ensuring a sustainable and equitable development path for Jamaica”, said Mr. Duncan.
By BALFORD HENRY, JIS Reporter & Editor