The United States government is providing an additional US$350,000 under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) to further assist Guyana in its abilities to effectively tackle the drug trafficking problem in the country. Assistance will also be provided for the development of local law enforcement.
Guyana Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and US Ambassador, Perry Holloway signed an amendment to the CBSI agreement with Guyana on Friday morning, signaling the US government’s further commitment to assisting Guyana in several law enforcement areas.
Minister Greenidge said the amendment will assist Guyana in law enforcement professionalization as well offer support to the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit to step up monitoring at Guyana’s various ports of entry and along bordering regions.
The agreement will also see the setting up of a counter narcotics programme to aid in the drug fight. Greenidge said Guyana has benefited tremendously under the programme in the past and the government is grateful for the assistance.
U.S Ambassador Holloway said the resources being provided under the CBSI will play a critical role in training and equipping Guyana law enforcement agencies to enable them to expand their cooperative efforts to combat narcotic trafficking and to strengthen policing capabilities.
According to Mr. Holloway, the US government would only give assistance to countries that indicate a willingness to partner with the US government in tackling the issues that affect them both. He said Guyana has provided that willingness and since the previous administration, has indicated a commitment to effectively tackle the narco trafficking problem in the country.
He added that “the programmes that these funds will support have been designed in close collaboration with Guyanese law enforcement entities and are ultimately designed to support the goals and objectives laid down by the Government of Guyana. Beyond the immediate financial support, such programs will facilitate regular collaboration between Guyanese and American law enforcement counterparts, enabling for the exchange of information and international best practices.”
The US Envoy further explained that programming provided under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative has already facilitated counter-narcotics strategies training courses, established the Container Control Program, provided initial training for the Serious Organized Crime Unit, created a Police Advisory Program for the Guyana Police Force and funded riverine patrol vessels for the Guyana Defence Force.
“The collective impact of this training and equipment, combined with renewed information sharing between U.S. and Guyanese law enforcement entities, has already been felt through the increased level of narcotics seizures being conducted by Guyanese law enforcement”, Mr. Holloway noted.
The US government describes the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) as “one pillar of a U.S. security strategy focused on citizen safety throughout the hemisphere.”
CBSI brings all members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic together to jointly collaborate on regional security with the United States as a partner. The United States is making a significant contribution to CBSI, committing $263 million in funding since 2010.