US Embassy Opens CARSI-ESF Grants Application Period

US Embassy Opens CARSI-ESF Grants Application Period

The United States Embassy in Belize has officially open the application window for those wanting to apply for grants under the Central American Regional Security Initiative Economic Support Fund (CARSI-ESF) program for 2024. CARSI-ESF funding is used to support organizations in the country to promote transparent and accountable governments, economic prosperity, protect human rights, and enhance citizen security. Political Economic INL Section Chief, Heath Bailey spoke to Love News about the initiative. 

Beath Bailey, Political Economic – NIL Section Chief, U.S Embassy Belize: “This CARSI ESF grant program is one of our most important tools for engaging here in Belize. CARSI is an acronym and it means Central American Regional Security Initiative. And this is a bipartisan initiative by the U.S. Congress to provide some funding for U.S. embassies to use to fund grants to assist local organizations in projects that help improve governance, strengthen democratic institutions, combat corruption, combat things such as gender-based violence, promote education, things of that nature. And there’s sort of two parts of this. Some of the CARSI money goes directly to government institutions. So some of the money we have goes to help assist, for example, the Belize police department in increasing its capacity and professionalization. But then part of the money is reserved for grants to civil society organizations, such as the Love Foundation. And this is really a recognition of the important role of civil society in influencing good governance and building capacity and holding all of us who work in government accountable.”

Since 2012, the U.S has invested more than $11 million U.S dollars in Belize through CARSI-ESF funding. In 2023, 5 organizations received the grant. The U.S Embassy in Belize announces a notice for funding opportunity for 2024. Heath spoke about the requirements. 

Beath Bailey, Political Economic – NIL Section Chief, U.S Embassy Belize: “I’d love to put in a plug for community based organizations here in Belize to be aware of. We have right now an open request for proposals. We call it a notice of funding opportunity or NOFO. This is available on a website. It is www.grants.gov. The easiest way to find this particular opportunity is to go to grants.gov and search the word Belmopan because it’s tied to US Embassy Belmopan. The funding opportunity is open through February 15th and so it is available now and we hope to be able to fund a number of additional really great grants to continue to expand the partnership between the United States and Belize. These are community-based organizations that are focused on projects that we’ve discussed, right? Projects focused on good governance, on education, on health, improving health services, and on you know issues related to gender-based violence and gender equality.”

Deadline for application submission is February 14.

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