Jamaica has long been a tourist destination, but has been beset by violence and economic instability in recent years. The country suffers greatly from a soaring crime rate with an increased number of women and children as victims, a high number of people with HIV and AIDS (22,000), high brain drain (tied for second in the world at 85.1 percent) and a disenfranchised youth population. Hurricane Dean devastated the island in late 2007 and Tropical Storm Gustav caused severe damage to the eastern part of the island in 2008.
|Population:||2,909,714 (July 2013 est.)|
|Size:||4,244 sq. mi.; slightly smaller than Connecticut|
Since 2005, Catholic Relief Services Caribbean Zone (CAZ) has supported projects in all three dioceses in Jamaica with diocesan and other Church partners in youth programming, peacebuilding, and emergency preparedness and response. In 2009, CRS CAZ won an Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Disaster Risk Reduction grant for working with at-risk youth in the capital, Kingston, with our partner St. Patrick's Foundation. This project was a resounding success and received an excellence award from OFDA in Disaster Risk Reduction programming and has been funded for a follow-on phase 2. There is one full time staff member based in Kingston and supported by the CAZ office in the Dominican Republic.
ProgramsCivil Society and Governance