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Government of Jamaica

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Government of Jamaica

GOJ AND THE WORLD BANK SIGN LOAN AGREEMENT FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION PROJECT

Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP
Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

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Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, (2nd left) Minister of Finance and the Public Service and Lilia Burunciuc (2nd right), World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean Countries sign a loan agreement to support the Jamaica Social Protection for Increased Resilience and Opportunities Project during a visibility ceremony at the ministry on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Looking on are Collette Roberts Risden (left), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi (right), World Bank Human Development Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region.

Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, (2nd left) Minister of Finance and the Public Service and Lilia Burunciuc (2nd right), World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean Countries sign a loan agreement to support the Jamaica Social Protection for Increased Resilience and Opportunities Project during a visibility ceremony at the ministry on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Looking on are Collette Roberts Risden (left), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi (right), World Bank Human Development Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region.

­­­­­­­­­­­Kingston, Jamaica: Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and the World Bank signed a loan agreement for USD 20 million to support the Jamaica Social Protection for Increased Resilience and Opportunities (SPIRO) Project which is programmed to conclude on January 31, 2030. The GOJ and World Bank representatives participated in a visibility ceremony for the loan agreement held at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

The SPIRO Project aims to increase Jamaica’s Social Protection (SP) coverage by establishing a national Unemployment Insurance (UI) programme, which will make workers and their families more resilient to shocks. It will also expand Employment Services (ES) coverage, linking these services to the UI system to serve more vulnerable job seekers, increase system capacity and develop strategic partnerships.

Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, Minister of Finance and the Public Service highlighted the government’s commitment to improving Jamaica’s social protection system.

“Jamaica’s social assistance programmes have significantly contributed to poverty reduction over the last 20 years. Despite this progress, our social protection system faces several challenges including outdated delivery systems which struggle to adapt to economic shocks including climate-related events. These adversely affect the livelihoods of the most vulnerable population and as such, there is a need to build greater capacity to ensure enhanced shock-responsiveness,” explained Minister Clarke.

Minister Clarke further stated, “The Government of Jamaica is therefore pleased to enter into this strategic partnership with the World Bank to expand our social protection coverage and strengthen our social protection delivery mechanisms”.

Meanwhile, Collette Roberts Risden, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security explained that the SPIRO Project will expand the current social insurance provisions.

“Over the next six years, SPIRO will be implementing a comprehensive Social Protection Information System to significantly enhance service delivery to our social welfare beneficiaries. In particular, we look forward to the significant reduction in the waiting time between application and payment from 90 days to 30 days,” highlighted Roberts Risden.

Directly benefiting at least 290,425 people, including 155,719 women, the Project will support formal workers covered by UI, vulnerable job seekers, and beneficiaries of various social assistance programmes. Additionally, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Planning Institute of Jamaica and other government stakeholders will benefit from system upgrades and diagnostic studies.

Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean Countries noted, “The project’s development objective, which is to “expand coverage of social protection in Jamaica and to strengthen its social protection delivery system, particularly its capacity to respond to shocks” demonstrates our collective vision to improve the lives of the most vulnerable by increasing resilience and economic opportunities.”

PROJECT COMPONENTS

The Project consists of five (5) components:

  • Component 1: Enhanced Resilience through Unemployment Insurance (estimated cost
    US$1.34 million)
    – This component supports the establishment and implementation of UI in Jamaica. UI aims to provide protection against the risk of job loss caused by idiosyncratic (individual or household-specific) and covariate shocks (e.g., climate-related, such as hurricanes), increasing the risks covered by the MLSS-National Insurance Scheme.
  • Component 2: Increased Opportunity through Integrated Employment Services (estimated cost US$8.75 million) – This component supports the strengthening of ES for employers and job seekers including UI beneficiaries and vulnerable groups. This component is closely linked to Component 1, as it will support ES linked to receipt of UI benefits.
  • Component 3 (US$7.96 million) – Strengthened Systems and Capacity to Support Resilience Building – This component will: (i) support the development and implementation of system-wide information systems; (ii) provide technical assistance to modernize key programmes; and (iii) process and collect the evidence needed for continuous improvement; and deliver capacity building to MLSS and other key SP stakeholders.
  • Component 4: Project Management (estimated cost US$1.90 million) – This component will cover essential Project Implementation Unit (PIU) positions for project management, including a project manager, an environmental and social specialist, a Monitoring and Evaluation specialist (which may be merged with the environmental and specialist position), procurement and Financial Management (FM) specialists, and a change management implementation specialist.
  • Component 5: Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) – This component will have a zero-fund allocation and will be able to provide rapid access to World Bank financing for the response and immediate recovery needs during and immediately after a crisis or emergency.

–end–

For further information contact:

Corporate Communication & Public Relations Branch

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service

30 National Heroes Circle, Kingston 4

Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655

Email: Shakiel.Rochester-Shorter@mof.gov.jmSuzell.Wray@mof.gov.jm

The Hon. Nigel Clarke, D.Phil., MP

Minister of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle, Kingston 4
Tel: (876) 932-4656 / 4660 / 4655
Eml: opedjamaica@gmail.com

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GOJ AND THE WORLD BANK SIGN LOAN AGREEMENT FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION PROJECT

The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and the World Bank signed a loan agreement for USD 20 million to support the Jamaica Social Protection for Increased Resilience and Opportunities (SPIRO) Project which is programmed to conclude on January 31, 2030. The GOJ and World Bank representatives participated in a visibility ceremony for the loan agreement held at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

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