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#Jamaica, March 3, 2022 – Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Andrew Holness, said the government was monitoring and preparing for the impact the country’s economy will face due to the conflict between neighboring countries Ukraine and Russia.

“We expect the impact on Jamaica could be through global energy prices, oil prices in particular, and maybe through some commodities, maybe wheat. . [and] flour prices,” he said.

While speaking at a recent groundbreaking ceremony for a new Stony Hill Police Station in St. Andrew West Rural, he said the government is “also monitoring the possible effects [caused by] the imposition of international sanctions, which could impose obligations on Jamaica” to ensure their effectiveness.

In addition, the Prime Minister said that tensions between neighboring countries may also lead to spillover effects on global production and greater demand for shipping, with prices rising.

“Global inflation has an impact on local inflation and external shocks. Energy prices [might] increase due to uncertainties in the energy market,” he added. He noted, however, that the Jamaican economy continues to show strong recovery even in the face of crises. He, however, urged the energy and agriculture sectors to “be more resilient”.

“We need to do a lot more in our energy resilience. We have not done enough to reduce our dependence on oil, while we enjoy abundant sunshine and wind. As a country, we played with our energy policy,” he said.

Jamaica should have reached 50% renewable energy production by now, he said.

“I urge people who are in the energy sector to set this ambition,” he added.

He further revealed that the announcement of a “major project” that will change Jamaica’s reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels will be made within weeks.

“In an uncertain world, where we are price takers of a commodity that is sensitive to all kinds of global conditions, we must insulate ourselves using the sunlight, wind and water that God has given us” , he urged.

Meanwhile, he said food security is also vital to support the economy.

“As prices go up, households have a harder time because [with] the options to switch from expensive foods to cheap ones, we don’t have many,” he said.

“We need to do a lot more to ensure our food security,” he added.

Contact person: Chanel Spence

Version: JIS