JAM | May 19, 2023

Cleverly brings £22 million in additional British funding to Jamaica

/ Our Today

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UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Prime Minister Andrew Holness greet each other ahead of bilateral discussions at Jamaica House on May 18, 2023. (Photo: Facebook @UKinJamaica)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly arrived in Jamaica on Wednesday (May 18) to announce £22 million in funding for violence prevention and climate financing.

His visit to Jamaica is the first leg of a four-country tour of Latin America and Caribbean to cement partnerships on climate, people and peace. The British High Commission, which made the announcement of the visit, says Cleverly will also visit Colombia, Chile and Brazil.

In Kingston, the Foreign Secretary will announce £15 million in funding for a Violence Prevention Partnership to counter serious and organised crime, as well as up to £7million for climate finance – supporting the island’s security and protecting vital sites against flooding and coastal erosion.

Over the next seven days of his four country tour, Cleverly will renew the UK’s relationship with the influential region. This is the first visit by a Foreign Secretary to the Caribbean since 2017 and the first to South America since 2018 – helping meet a UK foreign policy objective to revive old friendships and build new ones beyond established alliances.

Jamaican and South American agenda

In Kingston, Cleverly will be focussing on climate, democracy and the links between Jamaica and Britain. He will attend the United Kingdom-Caribbean Forum to set out Britain’s support for small island developing states (SIDS) and announce funding for region’s security and climate resilience and meet with Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (fourth from right, seated row) in a photo-op with regional leaders at the 11th UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum held in Jamaica. (Photo: Facebook @UKinJamaica)

In South America, the British Foreign Secretary will stress British support for upholding democracy and protecting the rainforest. After Jamaica, the UK Foreign Secretary will travel to Colombia, Chile and Brazil and deliver a keynote speech on the future relationship with this important region.

From May 19-21, the Foreign Secretary will be in Colombia to announce new UK support and funding for peace and tackling climate change by protecting the Amazon. Cleverly will visit the Amazon frontier region of Guaviare to see how UK-funded projects are preventing deforestation and helping former combatants rebuild their lives through eco-tourism. 

The UK has contributed over £80 million towards implementation of the landmark 2016 Colombian Peace Agreement. On 22 May, Cleverly will give a speech in Chile’s capital Santiago setting out the UK’s approach to Latin America and like-minded powers around the world. 

UK-Latin America relations

The speech will launch bicentenary celebrations of UK-Latin America relations in British embassies across the continent, two centuries after then-Foreign Secretary George Canning played a pivotal role in guaranteeing the independence of the region’s new states.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly makes a Statement on Sudan update at the House of Commons in London, Britain April 27, 2023. (Photo: UK Parliament/Roger Harris/Handout via REUTERS)

The visit will conclude in Brazil, where Cleverly will sign a wide-ranging climate partnership with his hosts on Green and Inclusive Growth and travel to the Amazon rainforest. This will build on the £80 million of Amazon funding announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during President Lula’s visit to the UK for the coronation of King Charles III.

He will emphasise the UK’s support for Brazilian democracy at the National Congress, which was attacked by protestors on January 8 this year.

NB: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that Foreign Secretary Cleverly arrived in Jamaica on Thursday, May 19.


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