Three Projects to Harness the Development Potential of Migration Launched in Jamaica

Posted: 
05/05/11

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) this week launched three
projects aimed at improving the Government’s capacity to
monitor and manage international migration in line with the
country’s socio economic development priorities.

The IOM-funded project, Development of a National Policy and
Plan of Action on International Migration and Development for
Jamaica, to be carried out in support of the PIOJ and with other
partners, will analyze the demographic, social and economic nature
of migratory flows to and from Jamaica, develop an assessment of
policies addressing migration and development, and examine the
political and legal extent of international migration in the
country.

Another project launched this week in Kingston: Mainstreaming
Migration into National Development Strategies, developed by the
Global Migration Group (GMG) href=
"http://www.globalmigrationgroup.org/">http://www.globalmigrationgroup.org/,
of which IOM is a founding member, and funded by the Swiss
Development Cooperation through UNDP, will use the GMG handbook on
migration and development, to complement the activities of the
aforementioned IOM-funded project.

The results of both projects will lead to the development of the
National Policy and Plan of Action on International Migration and
Development to be implemented by relevant government agencies, the
private sector and NGOs.

As part of the EU-funded project, Strengthening the Dialogue and
Cooperation between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean to
Establish Management Models on Migration and Development Policies,
aimed to support the EU-LAC Structured and Comprehensive Dialogue
on Migration and implemented by IOM and the International and
Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies
(FIIAPP), IOM will develop a Migration Profile for Jamaica.

Over the past four years IOM has prepared Migration Profiles for
more than 30 countries in different parts of the world, including
Africa, South America, Europe and Central Asia.  The profiles
provide statistical data related to migration and are important
tools for governments for policy development and
implementation.

These projects working together in support of Government of
Jamaica goals will improve the capacity of existing government
structures to collect and update data on migration, assist in the
design of strategies to capitalize on the expertise of the Jamaican
diaspora, and assist returning migrants to access local employment
and/or investment opportunities.

International migration is an integral feature of the history
and development of Jamaica.   Immigration of Europeans
and importation of African slaves and indentured laborers from
India, China and other countries were significant features of the
pre-1920 period.

During the same period, Jamaicans migrated in search of work to
Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize and other Caribbean and Latin
American countries.

After 1945, post-war reconstruction in Europe spurred migration
of Jamaicans to the United Kingdom.  From 1953 and 1962, an
estimated 13,900 Jamaicans migrated annually to the United
Kingdom.

Between 1970 and 2006, some 20,000 migrated each year to the
United States, Canada and the UK; with the US accounting for more
than 70 per cent of the total.

And as migration increased, so did the flow of remittances into
the country.  In 1970, total remittances reached USD 32.4
million; by 1990 the amount had increased to USD 120.7 million, and
in 2008 the Bank of Jamaica recorded a total of USD 2 billion in
remittances sent by migrants overseas.

A newly created National Working Group on International
Migration and Development, composed of government agencies,
international organizations, civil society and academia, will work
together to ensure that all of these efforts and the
Government’s new migration policy will address the needs of
all stakeholders.

For more information please contact:

Keisha Livermore

IOM Jamaica

Tel: +1 876 968 0569

E-mail: "mailto:klivermore@iom.int">klivermore@iom.int