In delivering her 2020 Christmas message, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks has sent a special “Thank You” to members of the diaspora for their unrelenting support to Jamaica during one of the most challenging years that the world has ever seen. Read Marks’ Christmas message below:
Dear Fellow Jamaicans in the Diaspora and Friends of Jamaica,
I am delighted to convey warm greetings to you and your loved ones, on the occasion of this yuletide season.
This has been a difficult year for us all as we continue to battle with the deadly Coronavirus pandemic. Over the past nine months, not only have the livelihood of Jamaicans at home and abroad been severely affected by the unfortunate ripple effect of the pandemic but even more devastating was the loss of lives of loved ones. I want to take this opportunity to wish peace and courage to all affected families. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
As we grapple with this new reality, we take comfort that hope is in sight as more scientific research is being conducted to combat the virus, including the development and distribution of multiple vaccines, some of which are now available.
Like many other economies across the world, Jamaica suffered a steep contraction this year due to the current health crisis. However, we are looking forward to a better future. Economic experts have made the projection that the economy is likely to grow upwards of 3.9% in 2021 and foresees continued growth through to 2022 and beyond.
We, therefore, convey sincere appreciation to members of the Jamaican Diaspora for your unrelenting support to your homeland during this difficult time. Despite your own challenges in navigating the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, you continue to give sacrificially. Your increased remittances have been a lifeline to many and is noted by a grateful nation.
We are also continuing with a careful and structured approach to safely welcome tourists from across the world and to make inroads in the export market with the consistent exportation of farm produce and other new products such as toilet paper to the United States.
This reflects our resilience as a people, who believe that we are still capable of achieving great things, even in the times of hardship and despair.
Therefore, as we celebrate this Christmas season, let us remember who we are as a people – a reservoir of remarkable courage, fortitude and an indomitable spirit. Let us also remember that regardless of where we choose to celebrate Christmas, the occasion should be different this year. In the interest of your safety and that of your loved ones, I encourage you to abide by the relevant protocols – wear your masks, sanitise and social distance – until COVID-19 becomes a distant memory.
On behalf of the staff of the Embassy and the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the Organisation of American States, please accept my sincere best wishes for a holy, peaceful and safe Christmas and a wonderful year of happy beginnings in 2021!