U.S. Government Signs Historic Agreement with the Ministry of National Security

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Photo showing Jamaica and USG official at a signing ceremony
Dr. The Hon. Horace Chang, Minister of National Security (second left) is flanked by from left, Courtney Williams, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Security, John McIntyre, Charge' d' Affaires Embassy Kingston and Jason Fraser, Country Representative, USAID/Jamaica, as they each showcase the symbolic witness statement at today's signing ceremony of the 'Violence Prevention in Targeted Vulnerable Schools & Communities in Jamaica' activity.

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 25, 2022

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Friday, February 25, 2022: The United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today launched a major new, joint initiative with the Ministry of National Security (MNS) to prevent youth crime and violence. The US$7.2m (J$1.1b) Violence Prevention in Targeted Vulnerable Schools & Communities in Jamaica (VPTVCS) is the first of its kind between USAID and MNS, with USAID providing US$4.2m and the MNS applying US$3m of its own resources.

VPTVCS is a government-to-government award, meaning USAID assistance directly supports MNS-led initiatives, and will focus on enhancing the relationship between at-risk youth, vulnerable communities and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (specifically, members of the Community Safety and Security Branch). Building these relationships is recognized as being critical to enhancing citizen security. As part of the overall strategy in crime reduction and community resilience, the activity will be implemented in four parishes, nine communities and 22 schools in Jamaica over the next two years.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister today, Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Horace Chang noted that “Having the support of international partners such as the United States Government ensures that the program is both far-reaching and impactful. The over 16 thousand students and 10 thousand parents whose lives will be directly impacted through this partnership will produce a significant multiplying effect that will positively influence the communities from which they originate.”

“The U.S. Government looks forward to the successful implementation of this activity and how it will positively impact the lives of the citizens of Jamaica by enhancing the safety and security of its people,” said Charge’ d’ Affaires, of Embassy Kingston, John McIntyre. “Targeted interventions will include providing opportunities for music, sports, and technology programs to be implemented in schools and communities, enhanced case management and social services for at-risk youth, deepening child diversion and restorative justice programs, and an expansion of the Safe Schools program. This program is a further demonstration of the U.S. government’s steadfast commitment to support our neighbor, partner, and friend–Jamaica.”

Also participating at the signing ceremony were USAID/Jamaica’s Country Representative, Jason Fraser and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Security, Courtney Williams.

Last updated: August 11, 2022

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