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Country Receives Funding From EU to Improve Justice System

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Jamaica’s development efforts in the areas of justice, environment and climate change and public financial management, have been significantly bolstered with a cash injection of €46 million from the European Union (EU).

The money is being made available under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme (NIP), for the period 2014 to 2020.

Speaking at a special ceremony for the programme’s launch, on November 6 at Jamaica House, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, expressed gratitude to the EU, pointing out that Jamaica’s ongoing partnership with the EU is critical to the growth agenda.

Among the receiving sectors, justice has been allocated the largest share of the funding, accounting for 50 per cent of the allocation or €23 million.

Additionally, environment and climate change initiatives will come in for renewed focus with an allocation of 33 per cent of the available funding or €15.25 million, while eight per cent of the money or €3.65 million will be spent on measures pertaining to public financial management.

The remainder of the funding will go towards initiatives in support of the civil society (five per cent or €2.3 million), and other support measures (four per cent or €1.8 million).

As it pertains to justice, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the allocation is important in advancing gender-responsive, accountable and effective justice services, especially for vulnerable groups.

She noted that under this umbrella, the Government’s ongoing programme to improve conditions for the treatment of children in the justice system, will be receiving more financial support.

The Prime Minister said the administration, with the EU’s intervention, is committed to improving the justice system in several areas by 2020.

These involve improving conditions in detention; reviewing the conditions in lockups; creating better access to justice services at the community level; improving efficiency in the justice process, through better technology and infrastructure; and treating children in conflict with the law according to established national and international standards.

Meanwhile, through its collaboration with the EU in the areas of climate change and the environment, Jamaica is expected to achieve greater effectiveness in environmental planning and monitoring, as well as better management of its natural resources and the environment.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the Government will also pursue projects geared toward enabling more vulnerable groups to benefit from sustainable development initiatives.

Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Her Excellency Paola Amadei, said the NIP is aligned to Jamaica’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030, and is aimed at putting resources where they are most needed.

The objectives, she said, are to improve access to justice for all Jamaicans; to create a cleaner and healthier environment; and to secure more accountable and effective delivery of services.

The 11th EDF National Indicative Programme was developed following extensive consultations with a wide cross section of stakeholders, which included government ministries and agencies, private sector, legislature, non-government organisations and international development partners.

The agreement for the 11th EDF was officially signed in Apia, Samoa, in September of this year, between Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson and the EU’s Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs.

By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker

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