Britain makes GBP7.25 million grant for citizen security in Jamaica

Jamaica, which suffers the highest homicide rate in the Caribbean, has identified citizen security as one of its most pressing issues. To address it, the Jamaican government has developed a long-term, nationwide crime prevention strategy and is carrying out targeted efforts to improve citizen security conditions in five parishes with the highest incidences of serious crimes.

The UK grant, equivalent to about US$11.3 million, will help the Jamaican government reach a total of 50 communities under its Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), currently financed with a US$21 million IDB loan approved in 2009. At present, the CSJP is being carried out in 39 communities with risk factors such as gang presence, high youth unemployment rates and a generalized sense of lawlessness.

The CSJP builds on international best practices for strengthening community mobilization and governance, expanding social and economic inclusion opportunities for young people and promoting a law-abiding culture. According to assessments by the Planning Institute of Jamaica, communities participating in the program have experienced sharp declines in homicides, shootings and violence-related injuries.

With the resources provided by DFID, the CSJP will engage local leaders to run community action committees and participate in the preparation of safety and development plans tailored to the needs and priorities of their neighbourhoods. At least 7,300 young people will receive financial assistance to attend vocational training courses as well as opportunities for internships in businesses. In addition, the program will finance activities such as training in parenting skills, anger management, conflict resolution and remedial education.

Part of the UK grant will enable the Jamaican government to cover administrative costs and expenses incurred by the CSJP in order to avoid disruptions in the services and activities in the communities where the program is already in operation.

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