KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The government of Jamaica has received €7 million in budgetary support from the European Union (EU), which will assist in the implementation of various development programmes.
The provision is being facilitated through a grant agreement, which Jamaican government and EU officials signed on Tuesday in Kingston.
Dr Peter Phillips
Portfolio Minister, Dr Peter Phillips, who signed the agreement with director for Latin America and the Caribbean in the EU’s Development Cooperation Office, Jolita Butkeviciene, thanked the organisation for providing financial support to the government “as we go through our economic reform programme”.
He noted that the event symbolises the reconsolidation of the relationship between the EU and Jamaica “consequent upon us having concluded the (agreement for an) Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).” He explained that the absence of a fund programme from 2011 “had interrupted the flow of budgetary support resources to the government and people of Jamaica.”
“This ceremony, in a sense, symbolises the restart of those flows. We are very cognizant that we need to continue our performance in all aspects of the programme, and particularly, in relation to the strengthening of our financial management capabilities within the government of Jamaica as a whole in order to facilitate these funds,” the minister said.
He pointed out that the country was particularly grateful to the EU for its financial support over the years, amounting to more than €1 billion, which has mostly come in the form of grants rather than loans.
Butkeviciene said the signing was a re-affirmation of the EU’s commitment to support Jamaica “in this difficult period of economic adjustment where extra funds are difficult to come by.”
“I do believe that the €7 million that we are releasing today into the budget of the government of Jamaica, these additional funds will definitely help the government to tackle its priorities and certainly, these priorities come in the social sector because in the times of economic adjustments, we know who bears the biggest burden,” she stated.