More funds for JEEP - Programme receives US$50m for infrastructure repairs
THE JAMAICA Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) component of the US$352.9 million Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) was launched on Tuesday at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
MIDP is part of the Govern-ment's efforts to improve the physical infrastructure of the country. Fifty million United States dollars of the total amount will be executed under JEEP by small, qualified contractors, mainly in grades three and four, to carry out construction and repairs on roads, retaining walls, drains and sidewalks.
Speaking at the signing at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, Dr Omar Davies, minister of Transport, Works and Housing, said the first phase of the project, amounting to J$630 million, will be divided equally among the 63 constituencies, each allocated $10 million for project development.
"This component of JEEP allows for projects to be implemented, not only on the highways, but in the byways where the heart and soul of our nation resides. Our farmers, teachers, school children and taxi drivers will benefit from the road repairs and associated infrastructure to be carried out," noted Lucille Brodber, JEEP project director.
"This first phase of MIDP project will go a long way in satisfying some of the real needs that exist."
She said in its three years of operation, JEEP has employed more than 42,000 persons.
Davies said MIDP's US$352.9 million funding will be made possible by a preferential buyer's credit facility from the Chinese government through the China Export-Import Bank for US$300 million and the balance of US$52.9 million from the Jamaican government.
Main contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which will be supported by a number of local subcontractors, will be directly responsible for US$220 million of the project. While US$82.9 million is earmarked for execution by local subcontractors, who will be awarded competitively.
Davies said the project would adhere to the strictest principles and procurement guidelines as well as complete transparency.