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EU $3.5b to target “more than regrettable” violent crime spike

THE European Union (EU) on Thursday handed over $3.5 billion (€20 million) to the Ministry of National Security to assist with crucial social services to residents of more than 100 volatile communities across the island, through the Citizen Security Plan.

During the launch of the Citizen Security Plan on the lawns of Jamaica House in St Andrew Thursday, EU Ambassador to Jamaica Marianne Van Steen pointed out that stakeholders are seeking to reform the approach to dealing with crime and violence. She said the current spike of violent crimes “is more than regrettable” and pledged support for the Jamaican Government’s plan to start having ministries work better together when executing social programmes.

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The event was attended by Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang; Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, other local stakeholders and representatives of various embassies of EU member states.

“With this, the agencies will deliver core social services and initiatives mainly in the most vulnerable communities of this island. Our support also goes to provide highly specialised technical assistance in the form of experts, research and training to improve the delivery mechanisms, coordination quality and effectiveness of interventions for entire populations.

“The EU has also allocated part of these funds to support civil society participation in the implementation of the citizen security initiative. This includes a support we would like to give to the monitoring and oversight mechanism of the 2021 crime consensus. This component will keep the Government accountable and keep the citizens of Jamaica informed of all the efforts being undertaken,” said the EU ambassador.

Van Steen said the National Crime Consensus signed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, former Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips and other key leaders last August paved the way for EU members to vote that Jamaica should receive the donation. That memorandum of understanding outlined steps that must be taken for a sustainable reduction in crime, inclusive of milestones and agreements on a monitoring and reporting mechanism.

$3.5b from EU to target 100 volatile communities  Jamaica Observer


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