IDB to provide $15 million to Guyana to finance citizen security program

Guyana has secured a $15 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank for a citizen security program that helps communities better resolve conflicts in non-violent ways, improves police effectiveness and availability of crime data, and provides opportunities to rehabilitate and reinsert prisoners back into society.

Guyana´s homicide rates have nearly doubled since 2000, to 20.7 per 100,000, and the country suffers from high rates of robberies and domestic violence, with one out of every six women reporting physical abuse in the past year.

The project will focus on 20 communities that have the highest rates of homicides, robberies, burglaries and domestic violence.

The operation will finance a series of surveys to measure changes in levels of crime victimization and citizens’ perception of security, a national survey to understand the extent and causes of domestic violence and violence against women as well as a crime and violence study in Amerindian communities.

The program aims to certify 8,400 individuals in vocational training and conduct 240 training workshops to community members, ranging from mentoring programs to job placement.

The project will set up an evidence-based community policing model that includes training, technological improvements, and crime and violence surveys to improve data availability. About 3,400 officers are to receive community engagement training and 1,700 in will attend courses on forensic and investigation techniques.

Actions to improve rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners include a prison census in five prisons and the design a new case management system, among other outputs.

Half of the $15 million loan is financed from the IDB´s Fund for Special Operations, which carries a 0.25 percent interest rate and a 40-year amortization period. The remainder is financed from ordinary capital with a fixed interest rate and a 30-year amortization period.