Hillary reaffirms security commitment to Caribbean

The US has budgeted $77 million in the 2011 fiscal year for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.

Montego Bay: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed the US commitment to the security of the Caribbean during a meeting of regional foreign ministers.

"President (Barack) Obama and I have made it a priority to re-energise the partnership between the United States and the nations of the Caribbean," the top US diplomat told the foreign ministers.

Hillary arrived in Jamaica from Guatemala, where she announced plans for a USD 40 million increase to USD 300 million in funding to fight crime in Central America.

Hillary also said the United States has budgeted USD 77 million in the 2011 fiscal year for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.

The program, launched in 2010, had a budget of USD 45 million its first year.

The United States has also begun another initiative by the Inter-American Development Bank to try to incorporate members of the Caribbean Diaspora into the economic development of the region.

The idea, said Hillary, is to "foster collaboration" between local entrepreneurs and the Diaspora that will start businesses and other projects that create jobs and stimulate growth in this region."

Hillary had planned to stay just over two hours in Jamaica, before returning to Washington.

Bureau Report

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