July 3, 2023 -The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has received approximately $428 million in grant aid from the Japanese government, which will result in a significant boost to its mobility.
The signing ceremony was held on Friday (June 30) at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston.
The funds, equivalent to 400 million Japanese Yen, will be used to purchase five ambulances and 33 pickup trucks for the JCF.
The sum is provided through Japan’s Economic and Social Development Program.
Jamaica’s minister of Finance and Public Service, Nigel Clarke, stated that Japan has been a reliable and long-standing partner of Jamaica, supporting the country’s development in various areas.
Clarke said that the money will come through the Consolidated Fund which is a testimony to the years of reforms and improvements that have been made in Jamaica’s public financial management.
He continued stating that governments are comfortable extending that level of financial support to the island because Jamaica has a strong record of fiscal management that meets international standards.
Furthermore, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said the grant will significantly improve the country’s ability to effectively tackle criminality and to better respond to emergencies.
She added, “Jamaica is very serious about addressing crime, and Japan is showing how much they’re willing to partner and support our serious efforts.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Yasuhiro Atsumi noted, “Today marks the beginning of another new cooperation on the security front. This grant aid program is aimed at strengthening Jamaica’s capacity for stabilizing society.”
He said that Japan stands in solidarity with Jamaica as “we are well aware that crime and violence [are] a growing concern and… the biggest challenge that Jamaica is facing at present”.
Jamaica’s State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, revealed that the parishes/areas that are set to be beneficiaries of the pickups include St. Catherine North (3), St. Thomas (2), St. Andrew North (2), St. Andrew South (1), St. Mary (2), Portland (2), Westmoreland (3), St. James (3), St. Elizabeth (2), Clarendon (3), Hanover (2), Trelawny (2), and Kingston East (1). Additionally, the Specialized Operations Branch will receive two of the vehicles.