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Jamaica gets $21 million IDB loan to increase public security, fight violence

Jamaica will improve public security with a $21 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank. The facility will finance crime prevention and strategic interventions to address risk factors that lead youths into a path of crime and violence.

The project will support interventions such as dispute resolution, mentoring, teen centers, job training, remedial education and parenting programs. The loan will finance actions to promote safe neighborhoods such as community mobilization activities; construction of multipurpose facilities for the delivery of prevention services; establishment of Community Justice Tribunals; and public education campaigns.

The main expected outputs of the project by 2014 include:

·         reduction in homicides rates by 29 percent;

·         increase in island-wide crime reporting by a quarter;

·         10,000 families benefitting from violence prevention and parenting programs;

·         upgrading of six multipurpose centers;

·         implementation of eight Community Justice Tribunals;

·         about 2,000 youths participating in school equivalency programs and remedial education

Violent crimes have become one of the most pressing concerns in Jamaica, affecting all spheres of society and becoming one of the major barriers to the country’s development. While homicide rates have declined in the past three years, they remain among the highest in the region, reaching 59.7 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008.

The IDB loan, approved Dec. 14 by the Bank’s board, will support ongoing government efforts to reduce the involvement of young people in crime, instill a culture of law among all citizens, and restore public trust in the police and justice systems. 

The loan will also finance the implementation of an integrated system to manage inter-agency information to monitor trends, facilitate information exchange and assist in the formulation of policies and programs. Moreover, the project will support the training of staff in government ministries and agencies involved in public security to improve planning and execution of programs.

The loan, denominated in U.S. dollars, has a 25 year term and a four year disbursement and grade period.  The interest rate on the loan is based on the LIBOR.

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