Jamaica is an upper/middle-income country located in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba, with a population of about 2.9 million people.
Rich in natural resources and politically stable, the country enjoys close commercial ties with the United States, Canada, and fellow member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It is also a member of the EU-Caribbean economic partnership agreement. Its economic situation continues to show signs of improvements, supported by reforms and consolidation measures. In 2018, Jamaica enjoyed a growing GDP, a decreasing unemployment rate, and lower food prices, with an annual inflation that fell to 2.8% in June 2018.
However, Jamaica is also faced with several development challenges: a high public debt, high levels of violence, a high poverty rate, and vulnerability to natural disasters, mainly hurricanes and tropical storms.
The EU’s cooperation with Jamaica pursues the global objective of poverty reduction and sustainable development, based on the principles of our ACP-EU partnership and Jamaica’s national development plan ‘Vision 2030’.
Our 11th European Development Fund (EDF) multi-annual indicative programme for cooperation between the EU and Jamaica is investing €66 million in Jamaica over the period 2014-2020, focusing on 4 sectors:
- environment and climate change
- public finance
- citizen security
The main implementation modality is budget support, in the form of sector reform contracts.
We help Jamaica modernise its justice system and strengthen its institutions’ and administrations’ capacities via structural reforms. Reinforcing Jamaica’s justice sector is key to attract foreign investments, reduce costs, and generally promote the country’s equitable economic development.
Environment and climate change
We support the implementation of Jamaica’s forest policy, which aims for a sustainable management and use of the country’s forest resources, to enhance inclusive social and economic development while contributing to building the country’s climate resilience.
Public finance management (PFM) is a priority for Jamaica. We support the implementation of Jamaica’s PFM reform action plan, aimed at improving public governance, transparency, accountability, and public services delivery.
Our support in this field aims at reducing vulnerability to violence and crime through strengthened social inclusion in priority communities, specifically targeting young people.
Aside from the 11th EDF multi-annual indicative programme, Jamaica also benefits from other EU external action instruments, initiatives or agreements:
- the Caribbean investment facility (CIF)
The CIF is a regional blending facility supporting investments in the Caribbean countries that are part of the ACP-EU partnership. In 2017, the CIF approved a contribution of €9.17 million to the €36.48 million ‘Energy management and efficiency’ programme in Jamaica, which promotes energy efficiency in government facilities and fuel conservation in road transportation. Our contribution resulted in annual savings in heath buildings of $2.2 million and 8,900 tons of CO2.
- the Instrument contributing to stability and peace (IcSP)
Jamaica is a beneficiary country of 2 projects funded by the IcSP: the Sea Cooperation Project (SEACOP) and the Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP), both essential in the global fight against drug trafficking.