US Gov’t Commits US$34 Million to Jamaica’s Crime Fight

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith (left), greets United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Victoria Nuland, during a recent courtesy call at the Ministry in Kingston.- Contributed photo.
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Gleaner- The United States Government will be increasing its investment in Jamaica with some US$34 million committed to violence reduction, combatting human trafficking, cybersecurity, energy security, and initiatives to boost the economy.

Details were provided by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Victoria Nuland, at the US-Jamaica Strategic Dialogue held recently at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in downtown Kingston.

Nuland said that the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs has committed to doubling its budget for Jamaica, providing US$3.5 million in annual support to jointly tackle violent crime and homicide. It is expected to be in effect next year.

“Our Trafficking in Persons Office has committed US$7 million to help Jamaica combat child trafficking through the Child Protection Compact Partnership,” she further pointed out.

The US has also dedicated US$3.5 million to strengthen Jamaica’s cybersecurity capacity and position the country to be a leader in the region, while through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), US$20 million will be invested to boost the economy and drive local economic growth to ensure young Jamaicans have better opportunities.

Nuland said the Jamaica-US partnership will also facilitate support for climate adaptation, strengthening of energy security, and the development of clean energy projects.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador noted that with assistance from US law enforcement, the Jamaican Government successfully extradited 23 wanted criminals to the US for serious and violent offences, including murder, drug trafficking, abuse, and financial scams.

She said that enacting laws and regulations to strengthen data collection and sharing with the US authorities would better protect citizens and “improve Jamaican law enforcement’s ability to collect and retain fingerprints for use in criminal investigations”.

The Strategic Dialogue, held since 2020, aims to advance shared interests in security, prosperity, and democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

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