This year marks the 60th anniversary of partnership between the Government of Jamaica and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The milestone was celebrated with a reception on March 24 at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, St. Andrew, which was also streamed online.
Representing the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith, said the concurrent celebrations with Jamaica’s 60th year of independence is significant.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said the partnership has been helpful to Jamaica and other developing countries “to improve lives, build communities and advance the principles of democracy.”
Notably, she said, the advent of the pandemic has seen further strengthening of this partnership.
“The assistance given to boost our COVID -19 response has been broad-based, and we acknowledge in particular recent grants to private sector health organisations to support the administration of COVID-19 vaccines across the island – critical as we return to normalcy,” the Minister said.
Senator Johnson Smith outlined several projects and programmes in which USAID has provided significant support.
This includes the cooperation in HIV/AIDS interventions that has been sustained under the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).
In addition, issues such as climate change, renewable energy and disaster risk reduction continue to be the focus of several USAID programmes and projects in Jamaica.
A key example is the Jamaica Energy Resilience Alliance which involves local and international stakeholders, with investments of up to US$50 million in Jamaica’s renewable energy landscape.
Another social intervention programme is the Violence Prevention in Targeted Vulnerable Schools and Communities in Jamaica, signed in February.
USAID will be providing funding support totalling USD$4.2 million. This will be complemented by Jamaica’s provision of USD$3 million.
“The work of USAID has helped to forge a bond of strong partnership through… [which] the Agency continues to support opportunities where Jamaica shares best practices with other Caribbean countries, thereby furthering Jamaica’s ability to play a greater leadership role in the region,” Minister Johnson Smith said.
Country Representative, USAID, Jason Fraser said the partnership has realised many accomplishments over the last 60 years.
“It is a pleasure to lead this particular USAID mission in assisting Jamaica in meeting its development goals and its full potential,” he said.
He thanked the many stakeholders for their contributions to Jamaica’s development.
“You have helped us to make an impact on many Jamaicans and on the development path of this wonderful country,” Mr. Fraser added.
USAID established its Mission in Jamaica in 1962, the same year Jamaica became an independent country. Since that time, USAID has been one of the largest bilateral donors to Jamaica, providing more than USD $1.4 billion.
For 60 years, USAID has consistently developed programmes in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders, to ensure sustainable development outcomes.