A team from the World Bank toured Barrett Town in St. James on Friday (September 16), to get a firsthand look at several projects undertaken in the area over the years under the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP).
Implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) through funding from the World Bank, ICDP, which ended in May 2021, aimed to enhance citizens’ access to basic infrastructure and services, as well as increase community safety through targeted, comprehensive violence prevention programmes.
The project brought critical infrastructure and services to 18 communities in Jamaica and benefitted some 89,000 people.
In Barrett Town, residents benefited from a greenspace, zinc fence substitution project, improved solid waste management with the introduction of skip enclosures and a recycling initiative, road rehabilitation, improvements to drainage and water supply, and rehabilitation of the Barrett Town Primary School, including the setting up of a greenhouse.
Barrett Town was one of four communities in St. James to benefit from the ICDP. The other three are Anchovy, Salt Spring and Granville.
Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, who led the touring party, told JIS News that along with the provision of infrastructure, residents were engaged in education and certification programmes in various skills areas, to maintain the assets provided.
“These were all people who had been trained and continue to sustain and operate the investments,” he noted.
“What is pleasing to us is that the investments have been sustained. So, we were able to highlight [to the World Bank team] some of the benefits that have been seen in the community over the years,” Mr. Sweeny added.
Mr. Sweeny said that JSIF continues to work to transform communities across the island, citing plans for projects in Norwood, St. James and Russia in Savanna-la-mar, Westmoreland, among other areas.
World Bank’s Vice President for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, told JIS News that the entity and the Government are currently in dialogue on several proposed programmes.
“We have several programmes ongoing, and our desire is to continue to work hand in hand with the Government and the people of Jamaica to improve living standards and well-being,” he pointed out.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (West), Hon. Homer Davis, who was also on the tour, said that JSIF has been doing “excellent work.”
He said that the Government of Jamaica is committed to the continued partnership with the World Bank to improve the conditions of citizens in communities across the country.