Kingston, Jamaica, 24 February 2015/ JIS: The Government of Jamaica will continue work to develop the housing and social infrastructure in urban centres across the island under the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP).
Phase two of the initiative was officially launched on Friday, 20 February, during a function held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
Being implemented by the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN Habitat), through funding from the European Commission under the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, PSUP is aimed at improving the living conditions of the urban poor in keeping with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This will be achieved by strengthening the capacity of national and local government agencies, civil society organisations, and slum dwellers themselves, and assisting with the formulation of regulations, policies and strategies that can be used over time, as a tool to facilitate slum upgrading.
The programme, launched in 2008, is being undertaken in three urban centres – Montego Bay, St James; Old Harbour/Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine; and May Pen, Clarendon.
Development activities in these communities will see improved access to clean drinking water; adequate sanitation; upgrading of roadways and physical infrastructure; cleaning of drains and channels; as well as capacity building.
The Government has received US $125,000 to undertake the second phase of the project, which will focus on action planning and programme documentation.
This will entail analysis of national and city planning and development frameworks for slum upgrading and prevention. In addition, networks for slum upgrading work will be established, capacity building activities implemented and authorities supported to identify funding sources for project implementation.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Morais Guy, hailed the programme, noting that it will a positive impact on the people and the economy.
“Initiatives such as the PSUP will assist in realising the Millennium Development Goals, particularly goal number seven …which seeks to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020,” he noted.
Dr Guy said that the results garnered from the implementation of the programme in the targeted communities will act as a blueprint for the management of squatter settlements across Jamaica.
He welcomed the support of the various stakeholders, and further lauded the United Nations for its extensive contribution to the development of Jamaica.
Jamaica is among 34 African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries benefitting from the PSUP.
The first phase entailed a profiling of the country’s cities and towns to assess the various needs, challenges and response mechanisms.
Following the successful conclusion of phase two, one community will be selected for a slum upgrading pilot project in phase three.
– Jamaica Information Service