Lieutenant Governor hears how Jersey is tackling malnutrition in Africa

18 January 2024
Last week, Lieutenant Governor, Vice-Admiral Jerry Kyd, visited Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) to find out more about how Jersey is tackling malnutrition in Africa.

His Excellency met with the Chair of the JOA Commission, Deputy Carolyn Labey, and the professional staff of Jersey’s official, publicly-funded aid and development agency. He also met with Sam Thompson from the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society (RJA&HS), one of JOA’s Dairy for Development partners.

“It was a very uplifting and encouraging update by Chair of the JOA Commission, Deputy Carolyn Labey, and her excellent team at JOA in their offices in St Helier. Their efforts to improve lives across the world, from Africa to the Himalayas, is having demonstrable benefit and which will have long lasting impact in so many of the poorest communities. Jersey should be very proud of what JOA is achieving now and also excited by their enthusiasm and ambition to do even more in the years ahead. What I was really impressed by, was the disciplined strategic approach to their programmes and ensuring that every penny counts at the sharp end.  The professionalism and dedication of what is a very cohesive, mission orientated and well led JOA team was clear and all of them are proud of what they are doing and why.  I was delighted to hear that directly from Faye Coggins who is working with the UN on the ground in Bangladesh.  The future for JOA is bright and I am extremely pleased with the ongoing support to this cause by the Government of Jersey and the Jersey people,” said the Lieutenant Governor, Vice-Admiral, Jerry Kyd.

“I am delighted that His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, has such a keen interest in the work of Jersey Overseas Aid and in particular how our Dairy for Development programme is helping to tackle malnutrition in several African countries,” said Chair of the JOA Commission, Deputy Carolyn Labey. “His recent visit to JOA’s office was a great opportunity to share insights into how our funding, the Jersey cow and our Dairy for Development programmes are enabling sustainable economic and human development in some of the poorest countries in the world – giving people the opportunity to become independent and to determine their own futures. Through our Diary for Development programmes we are able to add expertise and greater value to the funding we give.”

JOA is a professionally staffed and effective specialist grant-maker which is gaining a reputation at home and abroad for the quality of its programming and for the lasting change its funding and partnerships deliver.  It provides funding across four key areas; international development grants (funding long-term projects), humanitarian and emergency aid (responding to crises), Jersey Charities (supporting local charities working abroad) and volunteering and outreach (providing opportunities to islanders in international development).

JOA focuses its long-term development grants on three key thematic areas, Dairy for Development, Conservation Livelihoods and Financial Inclusion – selected for their effectiveness in bringing lasting change and because they are areas in which Jersey has skills and knowledge that can be shared.

JOA’s Dairy for Development grants focus on boosting livelihoods and nutrition by enhancing dairy production techniques to boost milk yields and quality, strengthening value chains, improving animal health and genetics, improving competitiveness of farmers, cooperatives and connected businesses and providing innovative financing, especially to small-scale farmers.

Dairy cows play a vital role in many developing countries, serving not only as a source of income for smallholder farmers but contributing to the improved health and nutrition of their families and communities.  Compared to other breeds, the Jersey cow produces higher-quality milk and greater milk production, relative to size and feed intake. The Jersey cow is also more heat tolerant and disease resistant than other dairy breeds.

Last year, Deputy Carolyn Labey launched the first JOA funded Dairy for Development project in Zambia, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Jersey and Zambia in 2022. Developed by the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society (RJA&HS) and implemented by ADRA Zambia, the project will benefit over 8,100 small holder farmers and their families (a total of approximately 40,0000 individuals). JOA is also currently funding dairy programmes in Ethiopia, Nepal, Rwanda and Malawi.

While visiting JOA’s offices, the Lieutenant Governor also had opportunity to talk to Faye Coggins, one of Jersey’s United Nations Junior Professional Officers (UN JPO), who is based in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.  Jersey joined the UN programme in 2021, providing young professionals from Jersey an extraordinary opportunity to embark on a career within the UN system and to contribute at the frontline of a humanitarian emergency. JOA currently funds three JPOs based in Lebanon, Egypt and Bangladesh with a fourth soon to be deployed to Ukraine.