Prime Minister Andrew Holness is calling for powerful nations that traditionally provide assistance to other countries, especially small island developing states, to not cut back on their international aid budgets.
Holness’ comments come as reports out of the United Kingdom suggest that the European nation is set to cut its international aid budget by a third.
The prime minister noted that this was coming at a time when the global economy is in recession, poverty is increasing and climate-related shocks are having a devastating impact on nations.
“Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it is a challenging time, but now is not the time for the international community to retreat from its commitments, particularly commitments made for climate change, particularly commitments that will, if not kept, affect small island developing states like Jamaica,” said Holness, who has co-chaired several climate change financing and development initiatives at the request of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
He went further to say that small island developing states should be spared any cuts to ensure that they are able to continue critical climate resilience and poverty reduction projects.
In that regard, the prime minister called for greater consideration in these matters.
“The world will recover but it is not a foregone conclusion that the world will recover. The world will recover if we act in a considerate and enlightened manner, if we decide not to turn inward but to keep the open arms of embracing the challenges and working together as one human race, as one world to solve all our difficult global problems,” he said.