BASSETERRE, St Kitts, May 8, CMC – The United States is providing more than half a million US dollars in additional funds to help St Kitts and Nevis deal with its crime problem.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said that the new funding comes under an amended letter of agreement between Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, Christopher Sandrolini and Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
The statement quotes a US Embassy release as indicating that Washington has now committed US$2.8 million in direct bilateral assistance to the twin-island federation since the 2009 launch of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, a partnership between Washington and Caribbean countries aimed at improving security in the region.
“The millions in funding have gone into a wide range of security programs to combat transnational crime and hence, increase the safety of Kittitians and Nevisians,” the Embassy said, adding that the new US$606,000 funding will cover four areas.
It said that US$200,000 will go towards enhancing the professional skills of St. Kitts and Nevis’ law enforcement, through the purchase of equipment, training, and the mentoring of St. Kitts and Nevis personnel by U.S. Government experts.
Under the area of Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, US$192,000 will be devoted to expanding the capabilities of St. Kitts and Nevis to operate a prison system that is safe, secure, humane, and in conformance with international standards.
Washington will also assist enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of corrections officials to manage a correctional system that contributes to public safety, combats transnational crime, reduces recidivism rates, and provides the prisoners with opportunities for reform and rehabilitation.
An additional US$131,000 will be dedicated to strengthening counternarcotics control capabilities in St. Kitts and Nevis. Under this programme, the United States will continue to offer training and equipment to enhance the ability of law enforcement to conduct investigations and interdict illicit trafficking.
US$83,000 will be provided for the fourth area of cooperation and combating money laundering and financial crimes.