Jamaica is an upper/middle-income country located in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba. Jamaica's key strengths include its political stability, abundant natural resources, a well-educated workforce and close ties with the United States, the European Union and fellow members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Several factors hamper the country’s social and economic development: a large public debt, an increasing level of crime and a series of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms. Jamaica is mostly on track to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. EU cooperation focuses on promoting macro-economic stability and reducing crime.
Under the 11th EDF (2014-2020) the financial allocation for Jamaica totals €46 million. The EU financial support to the national development strategy is built around three focal sectors, namely justice, environment and climate change and public finance management.
The strategy for Jamaica (2008-2013) outlined the priority areas for €122.9 million of funding under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), namely increased macroeconomic support and governance – particularly in the areas of security and justice – to help reduce violent crime.
Jamaica was beneficiary of the EU’s special assistance framework for traditional ACP banana supplier, being this framework a multi-faceted scheme put in place to assist economic diversification in those ACP countries for which bananas have traditionally been an economic mainstay. Jamaica also benefited from the Accompanying Measures for ACP Sugar Protocol Countries to adjust to the new trade regime for sugar. These funds were utilised for macroeconomic support and support to the sugar cane sector and economic diversification in sugar producing areas.
The UE assistance helped Jamaica to achieve an improvement of fiscal management, financial discipline and oversight and the support to the introduction of important macroeconomic reforms. Notable results are also observed in security and justice infrastructure or social interventions in volatile and vulnerable communities, mainstreaming of human rights issues in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), development and implementation of strategies for fighting corruption, an increased number of persons receiving training at the JCF training facility, an increase in the complement of judges and the support to the reduction of case backlog in the courts.
Jamaica benefits from the EU thematic lines in areas such as environment (€3.9 million) and under the European Initiative for Human Rights (EIDHR, €1.4 million).
As a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (CARIFORUM), Jamaica benefits from regional programmes funded under the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programmes. Jamaica is also a signatory of the EU-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), a comprehensive free trade agreement with a strong focus on development.