By Editor-July 2nd, 2023.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is to going to be able to buy a significant number of new vehicles following the provision of approximately US$2 3/4 million in grant aid from the Government of Japan.
The sum, which is equivalent to about $428 million Jamaican dollars, is being provided through Japan’s Economic and Social Development Programme and will be used to purchase five ambulances and 33 pickups for the JCF.
During a signing ceremony on Friday (June 30) for the exchange of notes between both governments at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston, Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, pointed out that Japan has been a dependable and long-standing partner of Jamaica and has supported the country’s development in several areas.
“This latest iteration of support speaks volumes of our shared values and shared economic model, structure, goals and aims,” the Minister said.
The funds will come through the Consolidated Fund, which, according to Dr. Clarke, is a testimony to the years of reforms and improvements that have been made in Jamaica’s public financial management.
“It is because Jamaica has a strong record of fiscal management that meets international standards that governments feel comfortable to provide budget support to our country,” he stated.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, in her remarks, said the grant represents another milestone in the special relationship between the Government and people of Japan and the Government and people of Jamaica.
“These funds will significantly improve our ability to effectively tackle criminality across the length and breadth of Jamaica and to better respond to emergency situations, Mrs. Johnson Smith said.
She added, “Jamaica is very serious about addressing crime, and Japan is showing how much they’re willing to partner and support our serious efforts.”
In his address, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Yasuhiro Atsumi noted, “Today marks the beginning of another new cooperation on the security front. This grant aid programme is aimed at strengthening Jamaica’s capacity for stabilising society.”
He affirmed that Japan stands in solidarity with Jamaica as “we are well aware that crime and violence [are] a growing concern and… the biggest challenge that Jamaica is facing at present”.
The ambulances will be used to support emergency relief activities by the JCF’s medical services branch to transport sick and/or injured members of the Police Force. One unit will be deployed to each of the JCF’s five areas.
Jamaica and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1964.
Presumably the purchased vehicles will be of Japanese manufacture, although it was not made clear whether they would all come from a single manufacturer or from a variety of suppliers.
Source: Jamaica Government Press Release.