Jamaica and Atomic Energy Agency Sign New Country Programme
Jamaica will benefit from increased technical support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the utilisation of nuclear technology for development purposes.
This is being facilitated under a new five-year Country Programme Framework (CPF) for the period 2018 to 2023, which will focus on engagements in water and environment management, health and nutrition, food and agriculture, nuclear and radiation safety and security, energy, and industry.
Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, and the IAEA’s Deputy Director General for Technical Cooperation, Dazhu Yang, signed the new CPF during a brief ceremony at the Institute’s head office in New Kingston on Thursday (August 9).
The PIOJ serves as the National Liaison Office for the IAEA Cooperation Programme in Jamaica.
It is the second CPF, with the first, covering the period 2010 to 2015 , focused on six priority areas – establishing a legislative framework and regulatory infrastructure for radiation and nuclear safety and security, human health, energy planning, management of water resources and environmental protection, agriculture, and radiation technology.
Mr. Henry, in his remarks, noted that the CPF defines a “strategic approach” to cooperation between the Government and IAEA.
He said the new framework covers broad themes carried out under the previous programme, and adheres to the goals of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, which seeks to position Jamaica to attain developed country status within 12 years and, in the process, become the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
Dr. Henry indicated that Jamaica currently has nine ongoing national projects, four of which commenced in January under the 2018/19 project cycle, adding that another six will be submitted for the next cycle.
The IAEA has provided funding support, totalling nearly €3 million, for projects in Jamaica that have either been completed or are currently under way.
This provision forms part of broader IAEA funding totalling €26.9 million, covering 26 regional projects and one interregional project.
Mr. Henry said that the Government is “very appreciative” of the IAEA’s role in developing Jamaica’s nuclear science technology capacity.
“Undoubtedly, the IAEA’s wide-ranging and groundbreaking assistance continues to affirm the peaceful and developmental use of nuclear technology (as also) propel Jamaica towards achieving developed country status by 2030,” the Director General said.
He assured that the PIOJ remains committed to collaborating with the IAEA and the ministries, departments and agencies involved in the development and implementation of the CPF “to ensure that the cooperation programme is well coordinated and successfully implemented”.
For his part, Mr. Yang said the new CPF is a “very important document” that will underline future technical cooperation between Jamaica and the IAEA.
He noted that it identifies Jamaica’s needs and priorities relating to the use of nuclear energy and technology for development in sectors such as human health, specifically cancer diagnosis and treatment; food and agriculture, particularly pest control; and radiation safety.
“We are very happy to support you for the development of this document… (which) will open a new chapter for our future cooperation,” he added.
The IAEA was established in 1957 with the aim of expanding and accelerating the contribution of atomic energy to global peace, health and prosperity. Jamaica became a member state in 1965.
A total of 170 countries are members of the IAEA, which is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.