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PM Signs Agreement To Boost Poor Communities

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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, signed a $1.4 billion (9 million Euro) agreement with the European Union (EU) on Wednesday, which will assist the Government’s ongoing programme for poverty reduction and community renewal.

The provision comes under the EU-funded Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP), being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and will enable the Fund to further its development work in 100 of the country’s most vulnerable communities.

This is the third agreement signed by government under PRP and is considered to be an important intervention to uplift depressed communities. The programme will continue to address critical social development needs of targeted communities, and help to allow vulnerable groups, especially young people, to seek viable options beyond crime.

Speaking at the signing at Emancipation Park in Kingston, Mrs Simpson Miller said that the programme was aligned to the priorities of government, so there would be a high level of synergy among government initiatives.

“Under this model, there will be coordination with other projects and programmes being implemented by other agencies… The combined effect of this integrated approach is that we will address the needs of the community, the family and the individual,” Mrs Simpson Miller said, adding that with the integrated approach adopted, there will be “ greater harmony, reduced duplication and more effective use of available resources.”

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the EU noting that Jamaica enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the group, which is the country’s single largest provider of grant funding.

The signing also featured an open day of GOLA (Grants of Low Amount) communities, where they showcased projects that have been funded by the PRP. These included ornamental fish rearing, and production of craft items for the tourist industry. The project is being managed by Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

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