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Statement April 30, 2019

Joint statement by Jamaica Prime Minister Holness and World Bank Vice President Axel van Trotsenburg

KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 30, 2019 - Prime Minister Holness and World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean Axel van Trotsenburg met today to discuss the World Bank Group’s partnership in support of Jamaica’s economic reforms, and its efforts to reduce disaster risks and promote youth-centered initiatives to strengthen human capital.

Vice President van Trotsenburg congratulated Jamaica for its achievements in steadfastly implementing difficult economic reforms that are demonstrating commendable results with positive economic outlook, and he encouraged Jamaica to continue these efforts. 

Axel van Trotsenburg highlighted that Jamaica stands tall as one of the few countries to have successfully cut public debt by the equivalent of half its gross domestic product in a short period.  He especially noted the Jamaican experience as being marked by bi-partisan political support, citizen engagement and multi-stakeholder consensus. 

Economic growth is projected to reach close to 2 percent over the next few years and unemployment is at its lowest since 2008, falling to 8 percent in January 2019.

During the discussion, Prime Minister Holness and van Trotsenburg announced a new US$140 million financing package from the World Bank to help Jamaica in building fiscal resilience, mitigating the financial impact of natural disasters, and strengthening social programs for the vulnerable population. This is on top of more than half a billion dollars provided by the World Bank over the last five years. 

As part of the new financing, US$100 million will be delivered in the form of two budget support operations to create a new line of defense in the face of disaster risks, and US$40 million in the form of an investment operation for strengthening social protection and building human capital.  

This year marks 55 years of a long-standing partnership between the World Bank and Jamaica. Through the years, the World Bank financed more than 140 projects in Jamaica amounting to about US$3 billion. There have been significant achievements since the first investment was made in support of universal access to education. Among some of the highlights are: the first Early Childhood Development System in the Caribbean, an effective social safety net program – the PATH program, adoption of innovative agriculture technologies and improved productivity, as well as improved access to electricity and increased share of renewables for a greener and resilient future.

Concluding the meeting, World Bank Vice President reaffirmed the strong commitment and support of the World Bank Group to Jamaica in pursuing its economic transformation, thereby creating new job opportunities and further reducing poverty.

From the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Nesta Morgan, + 1(876) 926-0244 / (876) 872-9979; 

From the World Bank, in Kingston: (876) 960-0459-62.  Christelle Chapoy, +1 (202) 361 4255,


Last Updated: Apr 30, 2019