JIS News

KINGSTON — The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and United Nations (UN) agencies in Jamaica, on Wednesday (May 4), signed the second consecutive UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to be implemented in Jamaica, at the PIOJ office, Oxford Road, New Kingston.

The UNDAF, which will be executed between 2012 and 2016, will support implementation of Jamaica’s long term and medium strategic plans. It is being financed through US$39.4 million ($3.4 billion) grant from the UN for the provision of technical expertise, among other things.

Speaking at the signing, Director General of the PIOJ, Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, said the overarching goal of the UNDAF, of supporting the country’s long term and medium term strategic plans, is reflected in three areas of intervention: the environment; social empowerment and equity; and safety, security and justice.

“These specific areas of focus are critical for improving the holistic well-being and quality of life of our most vulnerable (citizens),” he said.

They include improving natural resources, and management and resilience of the disaster (response mechanism) of national and local authorities, and focusing on the most vulnerable communities, islandwide.

“We are also helping the socially excluded and at risk population in rural (and) urban communities, to have increased access to improved quality health and education services. And, we are assisting government and civil society organizations, to provide comprehensive social protection and justice systems and services for vulnerable individuals and groups,” he outlined.

The PIOJ head said the programme also focuses on “key cross-cutting issues” which, he pointed out, will affect the stipulated achievements and objectives that have been set. He, however, pointed out that success is largely contingent on the efforts of all partners and stakeholders on the basis of agreed principles.

“The government’s central role in guiding the further refinement of the elements of the programme, to ensure readiness for implementation and compatibility with the objectives of national development, cannot be overemphasized. This is critical,” he stated.

He said that the government also anticipates that, with the success of this new programme, it will be one of the vehicles that help Jamaica to achieve its Vision 2030 National Development Plan.

UN Resident Coordinator in Jamaica, Robert Fuderich, highlighted a range of indicators, which would indicate “whether we are achieving what we are setting out to do”.

Mr. Fuderich said annual reviews of the programme will be conducted, with a mid-term review scheduled for 2014.

“That’s when we can actually change a lot in the UNDAF. It won’t change drastically, but it gives us the chance to really amend and see whether we are heading for the results that we have targeted,” Mr. Fuderich added.

Agencies of the UN represented at the signing included: the: UN Population Fund (UNFPA); Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); UN Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).