[www.inewsguyana.com] – Guyana’s security sector has been allocated $19.5 billion in the 2014 budget.
During his budget presentation in the National Assembly on Monday, March 24, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh said “in keeping with the vision of ensuring the safety, rights and dignity of all citizens are preserved within the context of being responsive to a dynamic environment, Government will continue to prioritise resource allocations to our security sector.”
The need for competent human capital and modern technology was emphasised so as to strengthen capabilities of security sector institutions and communities alike with the underlying aim of maintaining law and order.
This year’s allocation will see significant sums being spent on training for the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Unit; while $382.6M will go towards the training of joint services ranks.
The sum of $413M is budgeted to train and equip Community Policing Groups (CPGs) countrywide in an effort to restore safe neighbourhoods. Training will also commence with staff at the forensic laboratory on chemical analysis, drugs analysis, toxicology and court room procedures.
A total of $1.2B has been allocated for its completion of the Forensic Laboratory, the fire training school at Leonora and the continuous upgrading of physical infrastructure across the joint service in locations across the country.
Meanwhile, $1.1B has been allocated to support land, air and sea operations of the joint services and another $1.1B to effectively equip forces to carry out their mandate of service and protection.
With regards to the National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2014-2018, efforts are underway to ensure that it is finalised to enhance Guyana’s ability to combat drugs at the local, regional and international levels.
Additionally, a new National Action Plan 2014-2015 for trafficking in persons is currently being developed and will guide ongoing efforts by seeking to reduce vulnerability to the lure of traffickers, expanding sensitisation and awareness, broadening the involvement of civil society and strengthening law enforcement response
Over $1B was expended in 2013 for the construction and rehabilitation of joint services buildings countrywide including the forensic laboratory. A further $1.2B was spent on the acquisition and maintenance of equipment to support the operations of the security sector while land and water transport fleet benefitted from investments totalling $913.1M.
Moreover, $232M was spent to support marine operations in order to strengthen its capacity to combat piracy and other crimes committed in our territorial sea and internal waterways.