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SHARING THE LOVE: Great Shape Inc

Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.

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Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service

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News for Week of November 27, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Jamaica gets boost from the United States

The United States Government is increasing its investment in Jamaica with US$34 million committed for violence reduction, combatting human trafficking, cybersecurity, energy security, and initiatives to boost the economy.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Victoria Nuland said that the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs has committed to doubling its budget for Jamaica, providing US$3.5 million in annual support to jointly tackle violent crime and homicide. It is expected to be in effect next year.

“Our Trafficking in Persons Office has committed US$7 million to helping Jamaica combat child trafficking through the Child Protection Compact Partnership,” she added.

The US has also dedicated US$3.5 million to strengthen Jamaica’s cybersecurity capacity and position the country to be leader in the region, while through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), US$20 million will be invested to boost the economy and drive local economic growth to ensure young Jamaicans have better opportunities.

Ambassador Nuland said the Jamaica-US partnership will also facilitate support for climate adaptation, strengthening of energy security and the development of clean energy projects.

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‘Team sport’ delivers $30m classrooms in MoBay

The Barracks Road Primary School in Montego Bay, St. James, now has a new $30-million grade-six block. It features four classrooms, a resource centre and bathroom facilities, which should provide a more comfortable learning environment for the students, who are preparing to sit the 2023 Grade Six Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination.

The building was funded under a public-private partnership to include the Ministry of Education and Youth, St. James Municipal Corporation and 16 private businesses in Montego Bay.

Director for Region Four, Ministry of Education and Youth, Dr. Michelle Pinnock, lauded “our valued and valuable partners” for their contribution to education in the parish. “We place on record our gratitude to all persons who have invested in education [because] education is a team sport.”

“We say thanks to all our teachers, past and present students, our hard-working teachers and principals and our dedicated community members for the many sacrifices you have made over the years with this new building,” she said.

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150,000 to benefit from new water project

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that public-private partnerships (PPPs) are an important feature of the Government’s growth and development plans. “As a people, we can’t move forward unless we have a strong and innovative entrepreneurial private sector that will come and work with the Government to create the public goods that we all benefit from,” he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing a contract-signing ceremony between the Government and Rio Cobre Water Limited for the construction of a new US$77-million water treatment plant in Content, St. Catherine.

The facility, which is expected to be the second largest in Jamaica, will be able to transfer 15 million imperial gallons of water, benefiting about 150,000 customers.

Prime Minister Holness said that the Government has remained strategic in its PPP policy, noting that the arrangements have helped to attract private capital to develop critical public infrastructure.

“We have successfully used PPPs to develop our airports, our seaports, and highways, and we have used it in power generation,” he said. “Now [we’re] using it in water and we intend to use it in the provision of housing, educational services, infrastructure [and] in health as well.”

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‘Public service is world-class, built with resilience’

Some 600 public servants who have served 25 years and more in various areas of the public sector, have been recognized for their invaluable and dedicated contribution to Jamaica.

During the Jamaica Civil Service long-service awards ceremony on November 23, medals were presented to recipients for their sterling service. In his remarks, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr. Nigel Clarke thanked the hard-working and dedicated civil servants, who have committed to continuously improving efficiency in the public sector.

He said the public service in Jamaica responded in scale and with a pace appropriate to tackle the COVID-19 crisis effectively “and in so doing, the society has learned what we always knew – that the public service of Jamaica is world-class and built with resilience”.

Dr. Clarke noted that as the country evolves through technology and embraces the general shift in how business is conducted, efforts will continue to improve systems, drive efficiency, and think innovatively.

“We continue to require and lean on meaningful partnerships with and within various ministries, departments and agencies to truly achieve the vision of a transformed public sector,” he said.

Services industry drives nine-month growth

Jamaica’s economy is estimated to have grown by 5.2 per cent for the first nine months of 2022, from January to September. Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, said the growth reflects positive performance for the services industry, up 6.7 per cent, and the goods producing industry, up 0.6 per cent.

He pointed out that all industries, except ‘mining and quarrying’, and ‘construction’, recorded growth. Dr. Henry said the ‘hotels and restaurants’ subsector was the main growth driver, up 58.2 per cent, and ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’, was up 9.8 per cent.

The World Cup’s Education Goal

By Gordon Brown and Yasmine Sherif

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EDINBURGH – All who are traveling to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and harbor concerns about human rights should come together to protest one especially urgent and heinous recent abuse: the Taliban regime’s prohibition barring Afghan girls from attending school.

Anger about the ban is strongly felt in Qatar, other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, and other Middle Eastern and predominantly Muslim countries that wield influence over the Taliban.

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