Revs up development support to five Caribbean territories
UNDP targets multidimensional poverty with new five-year Country Programme
January 31, 2023
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi Country Office in Jamaica is cementing almost 50 years of partnership with five Caribbean countries and territories, following the launch of a new five-year country programme for Jamaica, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.
The country programme launch took place on 26 January - the same date that Jamaica and UNDP signed the agreement to establish a presence in Jamaica. That agreement was signed on 26 January 1976, exactly 47 years ago. Seventeen months earlier in 1974, the Government of The Bahamas was the first among the five partner countries and territories to formally establish an agreement with UNDP, signed on 12 July.
UNDP’s new country programme which runs from 2022 – 2026 outlines four pathways to supporting a reduction in multidimensional poverty. This is on the backdrop of the latest Human Development Report which noted that for the first time in 32 years, more than 90 percent of countries reported a decline in their Human Development Index score in either 2020 or 2021.
With this in mind, the Multi Country Office in Jamaica has identified Social Resilience and Inclusion, Citizen Safety and security and Rule of law, Climate change resilience and Sustainable Natural Resource Management as the four pathways to addressing levels of multidimensional poverty.
Speaking at the launch of the country programme at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston Jamaica, Denise E. Antonio, Resident Representative of the UNDP MCO in Jamaica said the 2022-2026 Country Programme’s uniquely tailored approach to Multidimensional poverty is inspired by UNDP’s global offer of six Signature Solutions.” The six Signature Solutions include poverty and inequality, governance, resilience, environment, energy and gender equality.
Ms. Antonio further disclosed that the issue of multidimensional poverty has various moving parts which require immediate attention. “A person who is poor suffers multiple disadvantages at the same time – for example, poor health or malnutrition, lack of clean water or electricity, poor quality of work, little schooling and access to basic services …We aim to leave no one behind. While this may seem ambitious, we are confident that through the collective partnerships of Governments, international donor partners, civil society, private sector and citizens, together, we can,” she said.
The UNDP Resident Representative said in summary, the new Country Programme outlines UNDP’s commitment to “helping (nations) strengthen resilience to crisis and to sustain the kind of progress that improves the lives of the poor, advances equality, and ensures those traditionally excluded from development gains are no longer left behind”.
She further noted that the country programme is aligned with the broader priority areas of the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNMSDCF), Jamaica’s Vision 2030 plan for national development and UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025.
In commenting on the new country programme, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith who also gave the keynote address at the event said: "We are satisfied that the country programme adheres to the standards of the UN MSCDF 2022-2026. The programme sets out ambitious but practical projects to be undertaken under the four priority areas in which we feel the UNDP has demonstrated comparative advantage".
She said “our review of the country programme indicates that the UNDP recognizes that the threat of the climate to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean is of particular significance. By way of reminder, we are the second most at risk region in the world coming only after the Asia-Pacific region.”
The PIOJ is pleased to have participated fully in the highly consultative process in which the Country Programme was developed and to have contributed to the crafting of a country programme that recognizes local planning processes, as reflected in its full alignment with the Vision 2030”, said Barbara Scott, Deputy Director General at the Planning Institute of Jamaica.
She lauded the invaluable relationship built with UNDP through the development of several cycles of country strategies and country programmes and expressed gratitude for the longstanding partnership with UNDP.
“In the current country programme, we look forward to attention being paid to some critical areas such as continued close collaboration with the Planning Institute, Ministries, Departments and Agencies to develop, monitor and evaluate projects and programmes in a structured, coordinated and efficient manner to ensure evidence-based decision-making,” she said. Ms. Scott stressed that “the value of UNDP’s support to Jamaica’s socio-economic development exceeds its monetary value.”
The launch was also addressed by Hon. Tinée Furbert JP, MP, Minister of Social Development & Seniors of Bermuda and Hon. Fredrick Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service of The Bahamas via video recording.
Cross-cutting strategies of UNDP Country Programme 2022 – 2026 include evidence-based decision-making; demand-driven and locally owned development solutions; human rights-based and gender-inclusive development; and innovation and digitalization.
We are satisfied that the country programme adheres to the standards of the UN MSCDF 2022-2026. The programme sets out ambitious but practical projects to be undertaken under the four priority areas in which we feel the UNDP has demonstrated comparative advantageSenator the Hon Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade
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