Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Jamaica to benefit from US multimillion-dollar regional United Nations programme

Published:Saturday | January 21, 2017 | 1:07 AMSyranno Baines
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (left) and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Bruno Pouez at sign an agreement for the UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UNMSDF) in Jamaica, at the Spanish Court Hotel in St Andrew on Thursday. Looking on are: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert Roberts and Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr Wayne Henry.

Government ministries in Jamaica are set to benefit over a five-year period from a regional budget of US$197.9 million earmarked by the combined efforts of the United Nations (UN) agencies in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.

On Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, signed the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework for the Caribbean (UNMSDF) at the Spanish Court Hotel.

The regional programme of assistance constitutes 18 governments from the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean and will span 2017 through 2021.

Four key areas have been given priority status in the programme, namely: an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Caribbean; a healthy Caribbean; a safe, cohesive and just Caribbean; and a sustainable and resilient Caribbean.

Depending on the priorities of the various national governments, projects will be developed and submissions made to the UNMSDF for approval and funding.

Johnson Smith described the UNMSDF as an excellent collaboration of the many UN agencies in the Caribbean and expressed enthusiasm in the projects to come.

“Not only do we have priorities and targets clearly aligned, but we also have a joint steering committee chaired by both the PIOJ and the UN resident coordinators office. This committee will ensure that we measure, monitor and evaluate and ensure that we are on the right path and if any adjustments need to be made we can make them,” Johnson Smith told The Gleaner.

UN resident coordinator, Bruno Pouezat said, “This is a way to make the most mileage out of a region where the needs are increasingly converging and where the resources of the UN are geographically dispersed.”

He added: “I don’t think we should attempt to focus on some areas at the expense of the rest. We will be working in both rural and urban areas. We will be working in the areas of the country where the social challenges are the greatest but other parts of the nation will also see the UN on the ground.”