By NAN Staff Writer
NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 28, 2020: Despite the lovefest between some governments of the Caribbean and the current Donald Trump administration,the White House is again taking the cleaver to the budget for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which seeks to reduce illicit trafficking in the region, advance public safety and security, and promote social justice.
For FY2021, the Trump Administration is requesting just $32 million for the CBSI, a cut of almost 47% from that appropriated in FY2020, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service’s Mark Sullivan.
The Administration had also cut the CBSI budget in 2020 by 30 percent to USD 40.4 million, but Congress ultimately appropriated no less than $60 million.
Although the State Department has not published CBSI funding statistics by country, a February 2019 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report shows that from FY2010 through FY2018, the Dominican Republic received almost 23% of CBSI funding followed by Jamaica with just over 19%.
Twenty-four percent went to seven Eastern Caribbean countries, and 21% was for region-wide activities.
From FY2010 through FY2020, Congress appropriated almost $677 million for the CBSI benefiting 13 Caribbean countries – Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
Coordinated by the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere affairs and implemented largely by the State Department, USAID, and the Department of Defense, the CBSI has targeted U.S. assistance in five areas including: Maritime and Aerial Security Cooperation, Law Enforcement Capacity Building, Border/Port Security and Firearms Interdiction, Justice Sector Reform and Crime Prevention and At-Risk Youth.