KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 30, 2010.- “My message today is that Jamaica and you are not alone in the world—many of the development issues you face are common to many countries in the region—and in the world,” said Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, during a recent presentation at the University of West Indies (UWI), Mona.
Cox’s comments were part of a dialogue with students and staff on Jamaica’s development challenges, barriers to growth in the country and the work of the World Bank in middle-income countries.
She provided a regional perspective, highlighting the fact that a number of Latin American countries have successfully weathered the economic recession as they had implemented sound macroeconomic fiscal and financial policies, which built their capacity to withstand the impact of the crisis.
“Listening and talking to you about your development challenges, I feel like I could be in any other country within the Latin America and Caribbean region, and even beyond. Your problems and aspirations are similar to those of other countries,” Cox affirmed.
During her recent visit to Jamaica, the regional vice president also met with a wide range of stakeholders in Jamaica - from Prime Minister Bruce Golding, to inner-city residents in the parish of St. Catherine involved in community-level activities supported by Bank funding.
A highlight of Cox’s visit was a tour of projects and meetings with beneficiaries under a Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) initiative, funded by the World Bank, in Central Village, St. Catherine where she was able to get a firsthand look at the results of Bank funding to a Jamaican community.
She had dialogue with representatives from a newly-established Community Benevolent Society and met with community women who have organized themselves to improve the community.
The regional vice president also engaged in a lively discussion with young men who have started a farming venture in the heart of their inner-city surroundings. She visited the farm site and there, she shared thoughts with the members of the Andrew’s Lane young farmers group about youth in other countries who have overcome social and economic challenges through their own entrepreneurial efforts.
In Central Village, Cox visited an early childhood school, which was refurbished with JSIF support and a multi-purpose community centre which is under construction in Central Village.