St John Jamaica receives grant from Japan for the acquisition of 6 ambulances On 19 March, Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica Yasuo Takase, announced that the Society for Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy (SPJD) in Japan had agreed to donate 6 ambulances to St John Jamaica. In addition they will provide funding in the amount of $JMD 8.4 million dollars (more than 73 thousand $USD) to cover the re-conditioning and shipping costs of the ambulances to be brought from Japan to Kingston, Jamaica. 3 ambulances will be placed at St John National Headquarters in Kingston, while the other 3 will be dispatched to the North Central Headquarters in Prospect, St. Mary. The grant is in response to a need of St John Jamaica to improve their capacity to respond to health care emergencies for the people in Jamaica island-wide. Ambassador Takase said that the donation is in keeping with commitments made to consider assistance to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean region to overcome their vulnerability. The assistance for St John Jamaica is in line with such policy of Japan towards Jamaica, he said. He also noted that the people and Government of Japan strongly believe that the process of development should be comprehensive for everyone in society. As we focus on human security, no one should be left out from the development and everyone should be protected and empowered to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development. Ambassador Takase mentioned that it was an honour for him to sign the Grant Contract with the St Jamaica towards the end of his diplomatic assignment in Jamaica. Earl Jarrett, Chairman of St John Jamaica stated that the donation of the ambulances was an immense boost on the occasion of the Order’s 115th year of service to Jamaica. It is a valuable birthday gift which will serve as a major life enhancing initiative and will put us in greater stead to care for life at home, work and play and to allow us to be of greater service to Jamaica. We intend to have these ambulances serve the people of Jamaica especially those within marginalized, at risk and high risk communities. Given our nation’s high crime and accident rates as well as our vulnerability to hurricanes and earthquakes these ambulances will allow us to continue our proud track record of being able to effectively render much needed assistance especially to these vulnerable communities. Mr Jarrett noted that St John Jamaica was also building capacity to effectively work these ambulances especially through the upgrading of training of volunteers in the medical field.