US$6.45 Million Human Security programme to bring water, enhanced governance & livelihoods to Northern Clarendon & West Kingston

Mar 19, 2018

At the Human Security Programme Launch: (From right) Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, UN Resident Coordinator, Bruno Pouezat, Chief of the United Nations Human Security Unit, Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence Chounoune

[UN JAMAICA, 19 March, 2018]: More than 43 000 residents of Northern Clarendon and West Kingston are expected to benefit from better water and sanitation, entrepreneurial opportunities, enhanced governance and improved adaptation to climate change, under a three year US$6.45 million programme launched Monday (12 March).

The programme,  “Strengthening Human Resilience in Northern Clarendon and West Kingston,’’ was launched at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston witnessed by members of the diplomatic corps, international donor agencies, government and community groups. The specific objectives of the programme include: Strengthening local and community governance bodies to design and oversee interventions to address insecurities; enhancing economic, food and nutrition security in selected communities; improving environmental health and water security at the community, local and national level; and strengthening institutional capacity for integration of the Human Security Approach.

Taking the Human Security approach, the programme identifies key threats or insecurities faced by target communities and designs interventions to bolster resilience against identified challenges. It is regarded as the first-ever truly joint project of UN Jamaica, combining the resources of six (6) UN Jamaica members, namely – FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UN Women – in addition to the UNDP Global Environment Facility funded Small Grants Programme. Of note is the fact that the UN Jamaica resources are being combined with financial support from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security and the Government of Jamaica.

Endorsement of the programme came from Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon Desmond McKenzie, who expressed confidence in the potential for this collaboration between the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations to elevate the living standards of the people in Western Kingston and in Northern Clarendon.

Referring to the programme's objective number two – that of enhancing economic, food and nutrition security – Minister McKenzie said the Social Development Commission would be a critical partner through its ongoing work on the Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP), which ensures that growth and job-creation are complemented by the creation of business development and job opportunities for communities. “I am looking forward to the fruit of this collaboration,” he said, noting that the this focus was critical to the reduction of rural to urban drift, and to the reduction of crime.

UN Resident Coordinator Bruno Pouezat said that through a comprehensive, people-centred approach the project development team ensured that the Government and communities were consulted and their concerns communicated and incorporated in the action planning. He called on communities in Northern Clarendon and West Kingston to “remain engaged in the process, attend community meetings, tell a friend – even better, bring a friend – and enrich and enlarge the network of concerned citizens, emboldened and empowered to make a difference in their own lives and in the life of their community.”

Chief of the United Nations Human Security Unit, Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi said she was confident that the programme will successfully leverage the human security approach towards a new way of advancing progress on Jamaica’s Vision 2030.

“By taking an integrated approach to improve water, sanitation, and natural resource management, the programme will create synergies of expertise towards environmentally sustainable livelihoods,” she said.  Ms Mostafavi also noted that by addressing the root causes of vulnerabilities, the programme “promotes concrete improvements in the daily lives of the people of this beautiful country. And, by linking elements of protection, inclusion and empowerment, the programme provides useful insights and mechanisms for combining policy and community-level efforts to realize the ambitious outcomes outlined in Vision 2030.”

Lead Government partners include the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Social Development Commission, Rural Agricultural and Development Authority, the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation and Civil Society Organisations.

Contact information

Gillian Scott, UNDP/UN Communications Analyst, Tel: 978 2390 – 9 Ext 2032; Mobile: 509 0724

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