Mon | Jul 15, 2019

UPDATED: Local projects get €3.1m grant from energy agency

Published:Friday | August 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/ Staff Reporter
Dr Wayne Henry (left), director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), shakes hands with Dazhu Yang, deputy director general, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), shortly after a signing ceremony between the Government of Jamaica and the IAEA. The ceremony was held at the PIOJ offices in New Kingston, yesterday.

With nuclear technology increasingly becoming a development tool in Jamaica, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has granted the country close to €3.1 million to finance nine national projects between 2018 and 2023.

The country programme framework for the grant was signed yesterday between Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica Dr Wayne Henry and Deputy Director General of the IAEA Dazhu Yang at the institute's head office in New Kingston.

"The new country programme, which is applicable for the period 2018-2023, will focus on water and environment management, health and nutrition, food and agriculture, nuclear and radiation safety and security, and energy and industry," said Henry.

"This country programme adheres to the goals of the Vision 2030 national development plan, which seeks to guide Jamaica's development path towards the achievement of developed country status by the year 2030," he added.


50-year partnership

The partnership between the IAEA and Jamaica was forged more than 50 years ago, and during this time, the international agency has provided both financial and technical support. Jamaica has also benefited from a regional programme estimated at €26.9 million.

Yang, who is visiting the island for the first time, said that the signing of the document would open a new chapter of future cooperation.

"For the last decades, we have had very good cooperation in different areas, in particular in the area of technical cooperation. In this document, you identify your needs and priorities in using nuclear energy and nuclear technology for your development in different sectors," he said.

"[These sectors include] human health, for example, cancer diagnosis and treatment; the area of food and agriculture, for example, pest control; the area of water resource management; the area of environment protection, in particular the marine environment protection; as well as radiation safety, which is very important for the peaceful use of nuclear technology," he stated.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly cited the £ (British pound) instead of the € (Euro).