By BBN Staff: On Friday, September 29, 2017, the United States Embassy announced the recipients of the 2017 Central America Regional Security Initiative Economic Support Funds (CARSI ESF).
The U.S. Embassy partnered with five organizations and signed six grants valued at $1.75 million USD to strengthen government and reduce corruption and impunity through civil society engagement.
Through CARSI, the U.S. Embassy has provided more than $40 million USD in funding for justice-related, at-risk youth support, and citizen security programs since 2008.
The 2017 CARSI ESF programs aim:
o To empower civil society to support improved basic local, municipal, and/or central government services; and
o To empower civil society to work with government to institute reforms that will reduce corruption and impunity.
The 2017 CARSI ESF grantees are:
United Nations Development Fund (UNDP)
Project entitled: Strengthening of National Systems to support UNCAC implementation in Belize
UNDP will assist the Government of Belize in implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
The project will use the recommendations from Belize’s national self-assessment to support the strengthening of national structures and improve public procurement and asset recovery processes.
The project will include a rigorous public information and advocacy campaign to address societal acceptance of corruption.
Belize Red Cross (BRC)
Project entitled: Strengthening partnerships through accountability and transparency
The project will enhance the capacity of communities and service providers in disaster response.
Belize Red Cross aims to establish transparent and equitable service delivery in the key areas of: disaster risk reduction, health and hygiene, and post disaster/emergency relief in the most vulnerable communities.
The project will focus on 16 rural communities outside of Belize City and Caye Caulker.
The Government agencies that Belize Red Cross will be working with include NEMO, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education
Project entitled: Strengthening the government & civil society partnership for timely, transparent response to GBV and TIP in vulnerable communities in Belize
The project will build government and civil society capacity to deliver accessible, affordable, and community-based responses to Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking in Persons.
The project will target six high-risk communities in the Stann Creek, Belize, and Cayo districts.
The Government agencies that RET International will be working with include the Ministry of Human Development, Ministry of Health, the Attorney General’s Ministry and Association of Justices of the Peace.
Trust for The Americas/ Organization of American States (OAS)
Project entitled: Promoting an Open Government Ecosystem in Belize
The project will reinforce existing Belizean e-government initiatives to guarantee public access to information and effective service delivery.
Trust for the Americas intends to strengthen civil society capacity to advocate for improved government services, and to promote effective collaboration between government and civil society, through coalition-building and social innovation mini-grants.
The Government agencies that Trust for the Americas will be working with include the Central Information Technology Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development
Building People Movement (BPM)
Project entitled: Live in Peace
This project will improve the existing services for rape, incest, and domestic violence victims in Toledo District, with a focus on the vulnerable women and children in the District.
This project aims to increase awareness about Gender-Based Violence and to increase the number of people seeking related services through its Counselling/Advocacy, Education/Advocacy, and Legal Aid services.
The Government agencies that Building People Movement will be working with include the Ministry of Human Development, the Office of the Solicitor General, the Ministry of Health and the Family Court.
United Nations Development Fund (UNDP)
Project entitled: Support Public Awareness and Preparedness for Belize’s National Referendum on its Border Dispute with Guatemala
The project will support the Government of Belize in developing its national referendum to consider whether referral of the Belize-Guatemala border dispute to the International Court of Justice.
The project will include support for the development of a national strategic communication plan, a national referendum process, and the voter registry and re-registration systems in Belize.
The U.S. Embassy thanks all the CARSI ESF applicants for their thoughtful and innovative proposals.
The United States is proud to partner with the 2017 CARSI ESF grantees and looks forward to the great things that these projects will accomplish for the people of Belize.