UNDP unveils new five-year development programme for Jamaica
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith (left), along with Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Denise Antonio and Deputy Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, Angela Brown-Burke, display copies of the 2022-2026 UNDP Multi-Country Office (MCO) Country Programme document, during the launch at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston on Thursday, January 26.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has developed a five-year programme, aimed at reducing multidimensional poverty in Jamaica.

The programme, which was provided through the UNDP Multi-Country Office, was officially launched on Thursday, January 26 at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston.

Priority areas for the 2022 to 2026 cycle include social resilience and inclusion, citizen safety and security and the rule of law, climate change resilience, and sustainable natural resource management.

The programme’s provisions will also be effected in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, said the Ministry and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) collaborated on the programme’s development.

“We, therefore, welcome the commitment that the UNDP has shown to consultation with policymakers, development practitioners, and stakeholders at varying levels, to ensure closer alignment between the desired outcomes of the UNDP and the priorities articulated in our National Development Plan,” she stated.

Johnson Smith said the programme “takes stock” of Jamaica’s social protection system, gender equality gap, crime and violence, and the poverty rate between rural and urban areas.

She pointed out that signature solutions include the expansion of broadband access to underserved communities, and systemic changes in the justice system using equitable human rights and gender-responsive approaches.

“[Additionally] support for the implementation of Jamaica’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to fulfil our international climate-related commitments [and] support to boost Jamaica’s capacity to sustainably extract and transform locally sourced development minerals into manufacturing, construction and agricultural products,” Johnson Smith said.

Meanwhile, UNDP Resident Representative, Denise Antonio said the organisation offers a “uniquely tailored approach”, to help reduce multidimensional poverty.

She said the entity’s Human Development Report noted that “90 per cent of countries reported a decline in the Human Development Index score for 2020 or 2021”.

“We aim to leave no one behind. While this may seem very ambitious, we are confident that with the collective partnership of governments, international donor partners, civil society, private sector and citizens, together we can,” she said.

Deputy Director General for the PIOJ, Barbara Scott, commended the UNDP for its development of an electronic data management information system to track assistance provided during crises.

“We hope that the findings of these evaluations will continue to be used to inform further programming,” she emphasised.

Jamaica was the second country, after The Bahamas, to sign the agreement establishing the UNDP on the island on January 26, 1976.

The UNDP operates in 170 countries with a mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and build resilience to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

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