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Jamaica is a middle income country located in the Caribbean Sea south of Cuba with a population of around 2.7 million. The country's key strengths include political stability, abundant natural resources, a well-educated workforce and its close ties with the United States, the European Union and other Caricom member countries. Over the past few years, Jamaica's commitment to social and economic development has been confronted with a number of challenges, including a large public debt, an increasing level of crime and a series of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms. All of these factors are severely hampering the country's social and economic development. Despite the challenges, the country's GDP growth averaged 1.6% in the period from 2002-2007, while the poverty level declined from 27.5% in 1995 to 14.3% in 2006 and to 9.9% in 2007. Jamaica's progress towards its MDG targets for 2015 is mostly on track.
The Country Strategy Paper for Jamaica (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for the co-operation between the European Commission (EC) and Jamaica under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance under the 10th EDF will concentrate on macroeconomic support to promote macroeconomic stability and pro-poor growth as well as governance (security and justice) to contribute to the reduction of violent crime.
The EC's total allocation (2008-2013) foreseen for Jamaica to address these priorities amounts to €122.9 million.
In addition, Jamaica is a beneficiary of the EU/ACP sugar protocol. The allocation foreseen for Jamaica for the period 2007-2010 under the sugar budget line amounted to more than €77 million.
All EU projects in Jamaica will also address cross-cutting issues such as democracy, good governance, human rights, the rights of children and indigenous people, gender, environment and HIV/AIDS.
The EU remains Jamaica's largest grant partner with some €710 million funding for bilateral cooperation over the past 30 years.
The Country Strategy Paper for Jamaica (2002-2007) under 9th EDF focussed on macroeconomic support, private sector development and infrastructure. In Kingston, 25,000 people now benefit from improved sanitary facilities, provided under an EU-funded Water and Sanitation project in the framework of the Poverty Reduction Programme in Whitfield Town.
In addition, since 1999, Jamaica has been benefiting from €4265 million in grants from the Special Framework of Assistance for Traditional ACP suppliers of Bananas, under the general budget of the EC.
For further details on projects and programmes in Jamaica funded from the European Development Fund and the general budget of the EU, please visit the project's section of the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica.
Other sources of information
The Directorate-General for Development is responsible for drawing up the cooperation strategy with Jamaica.
More information on EU relations with Jamaica is available on the pages of the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica.
Information on trade relations in the ACP region can be found on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade.