WASHINGTON, D.C. (Monday, April 4, 2022) — Jamaica is set to benefit from investment of US$30 million from the United States (US). The development follows a meeting, between US Vice President, Kamala Harris, and Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, at the White House, last Wednesday.
The investment by the US government includes: US$20 million to boost commerce between the two nations; and a further US$10 million to address human capital development and violence reduction for at-risk youth.
Prime Minister Holness said that the areas of cooperation, discussed by himself and the Vice President, included violence prevention, through intelligence and information-sharing and investment in violence reduction programs, targeting at-risk youth; human capacity development, particularly in relation to cybersecurity and digital technology; and regional energy security and infrastructure.
He related that Vice President Harris has also committed further support for the health sector and the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery efforts.
The Vice President expressed agreement for the establishment of a working group, between Jamaica and the US, to discuss issues unique to the island and to continue dialogue.
Prime Minister Holness arrived in Washington DC last Tuesday (March 29) for a five-day working visit.
He was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith; Jamaica’s Ambassador to the US, Audrey Marks; and Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke.
Holness also had high-level congressional meetings with Senate Majority Leader, Charles Schumer, and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez and members of the Committee.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Gregory Meeks, also hosted a meeting for the Prime Minister with members of the body.
The Prime Minister’s five-day working visit included talks with the Chair of the House Finance Committee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters; and Chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS), Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
He also addressed members of the Washington DC Press at the National Press Club.
Prime Minister Holness was the special guest at the ‘Lets Connect with Ambassador Marks’ online town hall meeting, last Friday, where he highlighted the island’s development at 60 years of Independence, and outlined the efforts being made to facilitate expanded Diaspora participation in the economy.
While in Washington DC, Prime Minister Holness also met with Embassy staff, as well as members of the Jamaica Central Labour Organization, which oversees the US farm-work program.
Holness returned home yesterday.