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U.S. to provide $100,000 in additional funding for Bahamas Counter-Narcotics Efforts

NASSAU, Bahamas – On Friday, October 19, 2007 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brent Symonette and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Brent Hardt signed an amendment to the Letter of Agreement on Counternarcotics (LOA) between The Bahamas and the United States providing $100,000 in new funds to assist Bahamian counternarcotics efforts.

This brings the total amount provided by the United States to The Bahamas to $4.2 million since the original LOA and its amendments were signed on September 25, 2001.

These funds, provided by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), are administered by the Embassy’s Narcotics Affairs Section. These new funds will provide training, equipment and support to the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU). Past INL funding has supported the purchase of fast boats and trailers, computer hardware and software, safety equipment for members of the DEU Strike Force along with vehicles and communications equipment.

In addition to this year’s State Department INL funding, the United States Southern Command, through Operation Enduring Friendship, will provide over $4 million in boats, equipment and training to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force this fiscal year. Over the past three years the Embassy has provided more than 175,000 man-hours of training for over 1,100 Bahamian officials at a cost of nearly $5 million.

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