US hikes funding for Caribbean Basin Security Initiative

(Jamaica Observer) ROSE HALL, St James — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last night announced that her Government has allocated some US$77 million in funding this fiscal year to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative as it intensifies its fight against the trafficking of illegal weapons and narcotics.

“We have stepped up our joint efforts to crack down on corruption, illegal weapons, narcotics traffickers and to create economic opportunities for young people,” Clinton said.

She was speaking at a press conference at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel here in Rose Hall following a meeting with Caribbean foreign ministers last night.

Clinton told reporters that the US$77 million allocated for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative for fiscal year 2011/12 represents a 70 per cent increase over the previous year. “This support is just one piece of our broader regional security issues that we are tackling,” she said.

Added Clinton: “We are pleased with the progress that we have made so far and optimistic about what we can accomplish in the future.”

The US secretary of state also announced a new initiative named the Caribbean Ideal Marketplace which is expected to foster better collaboration with entrepreneurs from the Caribbean Diaspora in the US and their respective countries to develop and expand their projects.

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