Vulnerable groups, disaster resilience among key issues in new UNDP plan
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched its new five-year country programme for 2022 to 2026, aimed at helping vulnerable groups to become economically resilient, improving citizen safety and security, and supporting disaster resilience, among other critical areas.
UNDP Resident Representative Denise Antonio said the new programme offers a tailored approach to reducing multidimensional poverty in Jamaica.
She said that despite increasing levels of vulnerability, countries have achieved varying levels of economic growth, and the UNDP is committed to helping countries strengthen their resilience and sustain their progress.
“We intend to provide targeted and transformational integrated interventions through four priority areas. The first is social resilience and inclusion; the second is citizen safety and security and the rule of law; the third, which is so relevant for this region, is climate change resilience; and the fourth is sustainable natural resource management,” Antonio said during Thursday’s launch.
She said that the UNDP aims to leave no one behind, and while that goal may seem ambitious, she is confident that it is achievable with the collective partnership of governments, international donors, civil society, the private sector, and citizens.
In her keynote address, Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said a review of the country programme indicates that UNDP recognises that the threat of the climate crisis to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean is of particular significance.
“We are satisfied that the country programme adheres to the standards of the UN MultiCountry Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2022 to 2026. The programme sets out ambitious but practical projects to be undertaken under four priority areas in which we feel the UNDP has demonstrated comparative advantage,” the minister said.
Johnson Smith commended the UNDP for being one of Jamaica’s key development partners throughout the majority of the country’s independent history.
“We value the strong working relationship which exists based on mutual commitment to keeping the country on a sustainable development growth path. We mark today as another positive milestone in that engagement. I give you the assurance, as we did in the preceding programme, that the Government of Jamaica stands ready to give its full support in the delivery of the 2022 to 2026 programme for the benefit of our people,” she remarked.
Meanwhile, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Deputy Director General Barbara Scott said that the UNDP remains one of Jamaica’s main development partners, and the value of its support to the country exceeds its monetary input.
She said that the focus being given to the thematic areas is well placed and justified.
“We hope there will be opportunities for targeted capacity building of government partners to contribute to better and more sustainable interventions, and we anticipate increased effort to extend initiatives undertaken by implementing longer-term programmes,” Scott said.
She added that the PIOJ is grateful for the long-standing partnership with UNDP and looks forward to strengthening the collaboration and the camaraderie, which has characterised their cooperation.
Priority areas for the UNDP Country Programme 2022-26
Social Resilience and inclusion
• Support the extension of broadband access
• Increased access to financing and private-sector engagement for sustainable development
• Enhanced social accountability through inclusive decision making and evidence-based policy solutions
Citizen safety and security and the rule of law
• Support government’s efforts to reduce the proliferation of small arms and light weapons
• Eliminate sexual and gender-based violence
• Enhance access to justice for all
Climate change resilience
• Provide support to ensure that Jamaica meets its national and international climate-change obligations
• Advance innovative, nature-based solutions for climate-change adaptation and a greener society
• Enhance resilience to natural disasters
Sustainable natural resource management
• Support the expansion of alternative livelihood in green and blue economies
• Strengthen institutional and governance capacities of our regulatory bodies
• Increase research and development of home-grown appropriate solutions