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EU give $30m socio-economic boost to Jamaica
Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said the funds, which were made available since 2013, had been provided under the EU’s Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries, Jamaica (AMS 2013) Project, which is being implemented through the Sugar Transformation Unit (STU) of the Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry.
The objectives of the AMS are the creation of a commercially viable sugar-cane industry by strengthened sector management, improved field and factory productivity, and the development of the sugar-dependent areas to strengthen and support the improvement of living conditions in these areas based on sustainable economic and social development.
It also aims to support the national policy environment by improving the environmental and energy performances of the industry to promote the sustainable management of environmental resources and to contribute to an inclusive economy, social and environmentally sustainable growth.
The funds have gone towards the repair of roads, the introduction of social programmes, training, provision of sporting facilities, and entrepreneurial support.
Recently, a contract was signed with the University of Technology (UTech) to facilitate the establishment of at least 80 business ventures.
“In light of the pending changes in respect of sugar market prices and the potential impact on your communities, we have been supporting a number of initiatives, which are spearheaded by the Government to advance diversification and create new opportunities for residents,” Wasilewska said.
“The EU believes in people and we are committed to empowering people all over the world to realize your full potential,” she said, as she toured the STU’s training programme in Clarendon.
An estimated 370 young people are being trained by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs in food preparation, tractor operation, small equipment repair, apiculture and housekeeping in order to help them become self-sufficient. The programme is being undertaken at a cost of J$54 million.
“There are many other educational activities under the overall cooperation assistance that we conduct here in Jamaica and we fully engage in supporting these initiatives. Also, they (beneficiaries) will develop their own capacities to create and find employment opportunities to improve their qualities of life,” Ambassador Wasilewska said.
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