USAID youth violence prevention programme – Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of National Security (MNS) on Friday launched a joint initiative with the US Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aimed at youth crime and violence prevention.
The US$7.2m (J$1.1b) Violence Prevention in Targeted Vulnerable Schools & Communities in Jamaica (VPTVCS) is the first of its kind between USAID and MNS, with USAID providing US$4.2m and the MNS applying US$3m of its own resources.
VPTVCS is a government-to-government award, meaning USAID assistance directly supports MNS-led initiatives, and will focus on enhancing the relationship between at-risk youth, vulnerable communities, and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (specifically, members of the Community Safety and Security Branch).
Building these relationships is recognised as being critical to enhancing citizen security. As part of the overall strategy in crime reduction and community resilience, the activity will be implemented in four parishes, nine communities and 22 schools in Jamaica over the next two years.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister of National Security, Horace Chang noted that “Having the support of international partners such as the United States Government ensures that the programme is both far-reaching and impactful. The over 16,000 students and 10,000 parents whose lives will be directly impacted through this partnership will produce a significant multiplying effect that will positively influence the communities from which they originate.”
“The US Government looks forward to the successful implementation of this activity and how it will positively impact the lives of the citizens of Jamaica by enhancing the safety and security of its people,” said Charge’ d’ Affaires of Embassy Kingston, John McIntyre.
“Targeted interventions will include providing opportunities for music, sports, and technology programs to be implemented in schools and communities, enhanced case management and social services for at-risk youth, deepening child diversion and restorative justice programs, and an expansion of the Safe Schools programme. This programme is a further demonstration of the US government’s steadfast commitment to support our neighbour, partner, and friend–Jamaica,” McIntyre said.
Also participating at the signing ceremony were USAID/Jamaica’s Country Representative, Jason Fraser and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Security, Courtney Williams
Gov’t partners with USAID in youth violence prevention programme Jamaica Observer