United States and Guyana Formalize Commitment to YES Program

Guyanese youth who are at risk of involvement in crime and violence will receive greater support and more opportunities for alternative pathways thanks to a recent re-commitment made by the Government of Guyana and the United States Government.

Christopher Cushing, the Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Mission Director for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, and the Honorable Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that formalized their mutual commitment to support the empowerment of Guyanese youth under USAID’s new Youth Empowerment Services (YES) program. The MOU will govern the implementation of the US$64 million four-year initiative.

As part of the U.S. Government’s larger goal of supporting a safer and more prosperous Caribbean Community, the YES program focuses on reducing youth involvement in crime and violence in targeted communities in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, with a particular focus on Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia.

In collaboration with regional bodies, national governments, and community stakeholders, the USAID program will strengthen protective factors that build youth resilience, while reducing those that influence youth in becoming perpetrators of crime and violence or presents risks to them being victims. It will also foster broader community engagement and positive youth development, and will increase services to respond to a variety of social development needs.