Kingston, Jamaica: Tuesday, June 16, 2020
The Government of Jamaica this morning signed a bilateral agreement with the Government of Japan to provide grant aid totalling two hundred million Japanese Yen (approximately 261 JMD) to support Jamaica's fight against the coronavirus, COVID-19.
The Hon. Nigel Clarke, Ministry of Finance and the Public Service signed the agreement along with His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica.
Dr. Clarke in his remarks noted that the Jamaican Government had implemented a "strong and decisive response to the spread of COVID-19 with series of targeted public health measures" and had provided "$25 billion in fiscal stimulus in the form of tax reductions and economic support designed to cushion the effects of the pandemic."
The Finance Minister also noted that Jamaica had applied to and received US$520 million from the Rapid Financing Instrument of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"These efforts however as we reopen, if not complemented with efforts to improve public health, our capacity our recovery would be put in peril", Dr. Clarke stated.
The grant from the Japanese government will be used to procure medical equipment including:
• Nine B-1 Bedside X-Ray Machines
• Nine D-6 X-Ray Protection Screens
• Nine B-2 Portable Ultrasound Scanners• 18 D-7 X-Ray Protection Aprons
• Nine B-4 Bedside Monitors, and
• Six B-6 Defibrillators.
Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade who was present at the signing, described Japan as a genuine and reliable friend of Jamaica, adding that "Japan continues to demonstrate its commitment to the strengthening the bilateral relationship and bonds of cooperation with Jamaica through several programmes".
Ambassador Yamazaki in his response expressed pleasure that the grant will be used to "effectively complement the ongoing efforts of the government Jamaica to improve its health services island-wide and to respond to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, chief medical officer in the Ministry of Health and Wellness in expressing her appreciation to the Japanese government said the grant was timely especially at this time when there was a gradual lifting of restrictions to allow Jamaicans stranded overseas to return home, and to allow the entry of non-nationals to the country.
"This support from the government of Japan will enable the Ministry (of Health and Wellness) to strengthen its role are we transition", she said.
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Luke Douglas/Daniel Passley
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