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US Embassy donates $1.75 million to improve citizen security

The US Embassy today awarded six grants through the Central America Regional Security Initiative, CARSI, Economic Support Funds, ESF program.  The grants are valued at a total of 1.75 million US dollars. Through the program, the US government aims to provide support to programs that improve citizen security with a focus on governance and justice reform. Chargé d’affaires Adrienne Galanek told us more about the initiatives.

Adreienne Galanek, Chargé d’affaires

“So in Belize grants these grants specifically are focused on working with civil society and government on mutual agreed upon goals so everything from gender based violence to improving e governance and working with organizations like SITO and the OAS to increase access to government services as well as working with the UNDP on issues for anti-corruption as well as with the upcoming referendum as well as the re registration campaign as well.”

The six grants were awarded to five organizations in support of their work within the communities they serve. They were asked to address one of two objectives which include support to improve basic local, municipal or central government services or work with government to institute reforms to reduce corruption and impunity. The recipients include Building People Movement from the Toledo District, the Belize Red Cross, RET International, Trust for the Americas/Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Development Fund, UNDP which received two grants.

Dorla Bowman, Project Director Building People Movement

“Building People Movement is just wrapping up a project that we did that was funded by CARSI called ‘Children’s Safe Space’ and we focused on children at risk and now we are gearing up for another project called ‘Living Peace’. Our project focused on gender based violence specifically in regard to domestic violence, incest and rape.”

Lily Bowman, Director General, Belize Red Cross

“The Belize Red Cross team will seek to enhance the internal capability of communities and service providers by establishing transparent, accountable and equitable delivery of disaster risk reduction, health and hygiene, relief, post disaster and emergencies to the most vulnerable and affected populations in these sixteen rural communities.”

Overall the US government has provided over forty million US dollars through the CARSI Program since 2008.