The visit will focus on strengthening the relationship between the UK and Jamaica. It will also include the formal launch of the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF).
During the visit, Baroness Verma will meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness as well as a number of government ministers. The Minister will also meet with a range of project partners and beneficiaries in communities affected by crime and violence. During these meetings the Minister will discuss the strong links between the UK and Jamaica and review the co-operation between both countries to tackling the threat from drugs and organised crime.
The Minister will also launch the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund during the visit. This Fund was announced during the visit of Prime Minister Cameron when he visited Jamaica last September. The Fund, which is open to Commonwealth Caribbean countries that are eligible for development assistance and to Montserrat, will provide grant funding to governments to support key economic infrastructure. Jamaica will be a major beneficiary of the Fund.
Ahead of the visit Baroness Verma said:
Since I became DFID’s Minister with responsibility for the Caribbean, I have been very keen to visit Jamaica to see for myself the efforts being made to deliver growth and development. As a key partner in the region, I am looking forward to meeting with the new government to discuss our cooperation. I also look forward to visiting a number of programme sites and to meet with the communities that we work with so I can understand the challenges they face and the opportunities to work together to improve prospects and livelihoods.