Jamaica Shares its Experience on UN Habitat Slum Upgrading Project with Caribbean Neighbour

Apr 30, 2015

Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, addresses stakeholders at the PSUP Reception held for the visiting team from St Vincent and the Grenadines

UN Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Project (PSUP) in Jamaica recently hosted a Learning and Exchange Mission with St Vincent and the Grenadines, as that country prepares to embark on phase one of its PSUP activities in May 2015.

At a reception held on 30 April for the three representatives from St Vincent and the Grenadines and members of Jamaica’s PSUP Steering Committee in Kingston, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune commended the organization of the learning and exchange mission, which she said was a good example of South-South collaboration.

While noting that the five day mission aimed at providing information, sharing experiences and knowledge exchange on methodologies and solutions in addressing slum upgrading, Dr. Laurence-Chounoune reminded participants of the UN’s commitment to support governments of the region in their work to upgrade and improve urban slums.

“The UN is always here to support you in whatever way we can as you work towards sustainable human development in your countries,” she stated.

She also noted that the UNDP was pleased with Jamaica’s progress so far under PSUP and looked forward to the country’s successful implementation of phase 2 of the project. Recognizing the government’s priority in having safe and sustainable cities, she requested support from the government, UN Habitat and stakeholders in mobilizing resources under the Global Environment Facility, for an integrated programme on sustainable cities that would build on the PSUP results, while including biodiversity, energy, livelihoods, and climate change components.

Minister Morais Guy from the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing thanked the UN for its support to the country. He said Jamaica was willing to share its experiences under PSUP with its Caribbean neighbours and expressed confidence that St Vincent and the Grenadines could learn from Jamaica’s positive and negative experiences.

Dr. Audrey Gilkes, Permanent Secretary in St Vincent’s Ministry of Housing, Informal Settlements, Lands and Surveys and Physical Planning, expressed thanks on behalf of the team for the learning opportunity provided through the mission.

PSUP was launched globally in 2008 by UN Habitat, in partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of States, and is financed by of the European Commission (EC). Jamaica is one of five Caribbean Countries implementing the PSUP. The project is being implemented through the island’s Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing.

Jamaica completed PSUP phase one activities between 2008 and 2011. Key results include the publication of three city profiles and one national profile.

Under phase two of PSUP in Jamaica a situational analysis of existing informal settlements in Old Harbour/Old Harbour Bay in St. Catherine, May Pen in Clarendon, and Montego Bay in St. James will be done. Policy and regulatory frameworks will also be reviewed to identify gaps and bottlenecks relevant to slum upgrading. 

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