OAS Support to Jamaica Over the Years…In Brief
While the OAS, in the early years following World War II, was greatly concerned with ensuring security and political unity in the hemisphere, the focus shifted as the priorities and needs of its Member States evolved and increased over time. As such, many of the later OAS-sponsored programmes and initiatives related broadly to development, democracy and human-rights-related issues, and Jamaica has been a beneficiary of numerous programmes.
The OAS has implemented hundreds of activities in Jamaica over the past decade alone, including projects, programs, conferences, and workshops benefiting thousands of Jamaicans. Support to Jamaica in recent years also include, inter alia, technical cooperation exchanges, institutional strengthening and human resource capacity strengthening through scholarships and training, interest free student loans, teacher training, labor and employment, public lectures on contemporary issues, social protection, supporting craft enhancement, sustainable tourism development, corporate social responsibility, competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship, cultural heritage, small business development centers, sustainable development and the environment, renewable energy, tourism security, maritime security, cyber security, promoting productive alternatives for juvenile remandees in an effort to reduce juvenile recidivism, crime and violence, strengthening electoral processes through international election observation, defending human rights, support with the expansion of drug treatment courts and developing drug abuse control programs and policies.
The OAS Development Cooperation Fund (DCF), formerly FEMCIDI, has offered several millions of US dollars in grants to Jamaica, since 1997. During the 2014-2016 project cycle, the OAS supported craft enhancement in Jamaica. The objective of the Craft Enhancement project was to ensure the production of authentic, locally designed and developed, high quality craft products from Jamaica, so craft producers could build sustainable livelihoods and effectively manage their businesses. The 2015-2017 project cycle supported the Peckham Bamboo Pre-processing project, which sought to create opportunities for productive employment in the pre-processing of bamboo in Peckham. During the OAS/DCF’s 2021-2024 project cycle, the OAS will support the Jamaica Business Development Centers’ (JBDC) project to accelerate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through Innovation and Technology.
Many of these cooperations are ongoing.