Jamaica eligible for £53m in British aid
KINGSTON – Jamaica is to benefit from the tune of £53 million of infrastructural aid from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIPF).
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, made the disclosure while responding to questions from Opposition Senator Lambert Brown in the Senate last week.
Senator Johnson Smith said that she was not aware of a package of grants, amounting to £360 million, which Senator Brown claimed was announced by former British Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to the Caribbean in September 2015.
“There is no package of grants amounting to £360 million for infrastructure development. We are, however, aware of packages announced in respect of infrastructure for the Caribbean which amount to £330 million. The remainder relates to public and private sector development support,” she said.
She said, however, that, for clarity, there were elements of the infrastructure grant funding available to Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries which are eligible for development assistance from the United Kingdom.
She said that a sum of £300 million was available from the UKCIPF for former British colonies in the region, including Jamaica, aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth.
She said that the fund is managed between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Senator Johnson Smith said that Jamaica has been allocated 18.8 per cent of the funds, which amount to £53 million. The project’s duration is 2015-2020.
She said that £30 million would be for strengthening the infrastructure of the health centres to make them more environmentally friendly and structurally resistant to natural disasters.
“The funds are administered by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), and no specific amount has been allocated to Jamaica.
She said that this will support the SMART Health Care Facilities Programme, for which £8.2 million has been programmed for the pilot. (Jamaica Observer)