Since 2010, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) has provided over $437 million in funds for training and equipment in the Caribbean. Today’s handover of equipment to Guyana’s Maritime Administration is yet another piece of technical assistance designed to help ensure our mutual security in the region.
More so than perhaps any other industry, maritime shipping and passenger transportation involves the collective investment of all countries, governments, and the private sector. This interdependence when done right leads to mutual prosperity.
In August 2014, after five capacity building events and four quarterly facility visits by U.S. experts, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Guyana made a significant improvement in its overall port security performance score, increasing its performance to a score of 84% compliance in just one year, up from the previous score of 58% compliance. Congratulations to all those who took part in the trainings and exercises. Without your dedication, Guyana would not have been able to achieve such a dramatic improvement in its port security performance.
To build on past improvements, the electronics and associated supplies being handed over today were purchased to support the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) implementation of a port security identification card program. This ID card program will allow MARAD to have greater governmental oversight on who is allowed access to the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code compliant facilities in Guyana. Once the equipment is installed, Guyana will have a port facility identification card program similar to that used in the United States.
I commend everyone who has been part of these efforts to improve port security in Guyana and I am sure with this equipment and continued training, along with the commitment of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Guyana will continue to improve its performance scores and the people of Guyana will benefit. I confirm today the U.S. government’s firm commitment to continue to work with the Government of Guyana to make Guyana a more secure, prosperous, and inclusive place for all Guyanese.