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Life-saving safe school infrastructure launched in Jamaica

20 December 2018

Story from the FIA Foundation.

Jamaica is now scaling-up its safe school journeys programme following support from the Child Health Initiative, the Government and new donor funding.

Child Health Initiative (CHI) partners began working with UNICEF Jamaica, the JN Foundation and a range of government Ministries at the end of 2017. On November 7th 2018, the Prime Minister of Jamaica and the programme partners launched the first safe infrastructure to keep children safe on the journey to school. The new infrastructure is a key outcome of the partnership between the FIA Foundation and UNICEF which involves Jamaica as one of nine participating countries.

The initiative is vital work for the children of Jamaica – road traffic injury is the leading killer of children aged 5-14 in the country according to the Global Burden of Disease data.

Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness hosted a briefing for all the partners at his office ahead of the infrastructure unveiling. “The truth is that we could reduce our fatal accidents to almost zero if we were to upfront take into consideration good design practices,” the Prime Minister said. “We are trying to ensure that our roads are safe for pedestrian traffic, but more so for our children. I’m very happy to see the investment being made around our schools, to make the approaches to the school safer for our children.”

Avi Silverman FIA Foundation Deputy Director said, “Through the Child Health Initiative and its partners, we have been calling for safe and healthy school journeys for children everywhere. The work here in Jamaica is an important step forward towards this. To see the first safe road infrastructure being implemented in low-income communities and then scaled-up across the country shows what kind of impact is possible. The level of engagement among both children and the wider community is also impressive. We hope the government and its partners can continue to build upon this work serving as a leading example worldwide.”

Working with the Amend NGO and iRAP’s ‘Star Ratings for Schools’ package, the CHI has helped introduce the methodology for school area assessments and infrastructure improvements around schools in Jamaica.

Both AMEND and iRAP's Star Rating for Schools' package won a Prince Michael Interntional Road Safety Award this year.

For the full story please click here.

FIA Foundation Deputy Director Avi Silverman and AA Jamaica President Earl Jarrett brief Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on the progress of the street improvements following star rating for schools assessments.