Translating the generosity, skills and compassion of the people of Jersey

Translating the generosity, skills and compassion of the people of Jersey

By Jersey’s Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey

Jersey’s Overseas Aid programme continues to advance in leaps and bounds, and it is a privilege for me to be the Minister responsible for one of the Island’s great success stories.  As the year since our government was established has been packed with achievements, I have chosen to highlight a handful that I am particularly proud of.

Achieving Ministerial Delivery Plans

We began to implement the Jersey Overseas Aid 5-year strategy (2022), successfully achieving fourteen out of fifteen specific objectives. With only the production of strategies for Financial Inclusion and Humanitarian Funding remaining, we have proven our commitment to delivering on our promises to islanders and to the international community.

Playing to Jersey’s Strengths in International Development

By focusing our International Development Grants on three key areas—dairy, conservation, and financial inclusion—chosen because they are areas in which Jersey has skills and expertise — we continue to add significant value to ongoing projects. This strategic approach has resulted in a remarkable 37% increase in the portfolio of projects. Moreover, the substantial increase in the International Development Grant portfolio showcases Jersey’s financial commitment to making a positive impact on the global stage.

We also recently began dairy programming in Zambia, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in 2022, reaching at least 2,000 small-holder farmers with Jersey expertise. We believe that sustainable development is not done ‘to’ countries but with them, and the close relationships Jersey is developing across the world form a valuable network of exchange and friendship for the island.

Standing with Ukraine and Responding to Global Emergencies

The compassion of the people of Jersey has been on full display as the Island stood in solidarity with the people of Ukraine following Russia’s devastating invasion. By providing humanitarian assistance valued at over £3.4 million, Jersey has shown its willingness to support people worst affected by conflict. Furthermore, the Island has maintained its commitment to other global emergencies, such as those in Yemen, Syria, Central African Republic, Sudan, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Bangladesh, and the Horn of Africa. The swift response to the Syria-Turkey earthquake and the pioneering of a new funding mechanism for NGOs in opposition-held areas of Syria exemplify Jersey’s agility and ability to get Jersey’s funding to the best-placed local organisations and the neediest beneficiaries, while also contributing to improving the overall coordination of humanitarian responses.

Enhancing Skills and Development Opportunities

Our commitment to international development and humanitarian response extends beyond financial support – we are actively working to diversify and improve the skills of Islanders, helping them to achieve personal goals or supporting them into rewarding careers in the sector. We have been doing this by increasing the opportunities for Islanders to volunteer – applications for our 2023 volunteering trips were the highest we have ever seen – and by offering professional and personal bursaries (we increased the amounts available through these last year). We also provide career development opportunities through our Programme Associate (internship) role, last year increasing the length of this paid placement opportunity from 12 to 18 months, as well as the number of Programme Associates we support each year. We also continue to fund United Nations (UN) placements and I’m proud to say we now have three Islanders on the UN Junior Professional Officer Programme, stationed in Tyre, Lebanon; Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; and, Cairo, Egypt.

Increasing Official Development Assistance

Jersey’s dedication to raising its official development assistance towards the OECD average (0.33% of GVA) showcases our commitment to international cooperation and development. Increasing from 0.27% of GVA in 2022 to 0.28% of GVA in 2023, Jersey is steadily progressing towards its target and reinforcing its position as a reliable and trustworthy partner in international development efforts.

Summing up our achievements of the last year

The Government of Jersey has proven itself to be a team with integrity, following the OECD’s Five Pillars of Trust in Government. With a positive reputation overseas, the Island has been successful in implementing its Ministerial Delivery Plans and has made significant strides in international development, humanitarian assistance, and global cooperation. As Jersey continues to uphold its commitments and values, we are setting a good example for governments worldwide, reminding us all of the vital role trust plays in fostering a prosperous and compassionate world.

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