St. Kitts and Nevis’ chief diplomat to the United States will join other diplomats from regional countries in lobbying the US government to continue its support of youth at-risk programmes in the Caribbean.
Her Excellency Dr. Thelma Phillip Browne, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Ambassador to the United States, said that the US Department of State gives humanitarian and other types of assistance through its agency for international development (USAID). She said the programmes to promote positive interventions for young people and to deter from crime were particularly attractive for member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the smaller Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). However, the programme is being threatened by budget cuts.
“And so one of the things we hope to do as a CARICOM [and] especially OECS is to approach them (US government) and approach some members of Congress to lobby against this cutting of the budget in terms of crime fighting,” she said.
Ambassador Browne said that the main responsibility of addressing crime lies with the individual governments but added that “all the help that we can get we [will] try to access.
The St. Kitts and Nevis diplomat added that much of the support from USAID goes towards Jamaica and Haiti. The high income status of the twin-island federation typically exempts it from assistance. Most experts agree that the realities on the ground must also factor in when decisions are being made.