The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News

From January 10-12, 2024, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and in collaboration with the Government of Grenada and the CARICOM Secretariat, will host a Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting in Saint George, Grenada to share best practices on addressing youth crime and violence in the Caribbean.

The theme of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) technical working group conference, “Adaptive Management in Citizen Security,” underscores the importance of staying nimble and adapting to new information in a changing context.

During her remarks at today’s opening ceremony, U.S. Embassy Grenada Principal Officer Frances Herrera stressed the importance of collaboration, stating that, “Consequently, our partnerships with CARICOM and national governments are indispensable. By working hand in hand, we can influence policy frameworks that prioritize crime prevention and youth development.” Further, USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Regional Representative Mervyn Farroe emphasized that the U.S. government has for many years partnered with regional governments to prevent youth crime and violence by providing youth with positive opportunities and building more effective, transparent justice systems.

Since 2010, the United States has worked with Caribbean governments through CBSI (the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative) to reduce illicit trafficking, increase citizen security, and address the root causes of crime and violence in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, The Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. CBSI advances common security objectives in the Caribbean, focusing on transnational criminal organizations involved in drug-related crimes, systemic violence, corruption, weak judicial systems, and at-risk youth. To date, the United States has committed nearly $905 million in equipment, training, and technical assistance to the Caribbean region through CBSI.

Pictured from left to right: Sherwin Toyne-Stephenson, Programme Manager, Crime and Security, Directorate of Human and Social Development, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat; Carlyn McQuilkin, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Security, Home Affairs, Public Administration, Information and Disaster Management, Government of Grenada; Frances J. Herrera, Principal Officer, U.S. Embassy Grenada; and Mervyn Farroe, Regional Representative, USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean.