Local July 27, 2021 | 3:34 pm

U.S. and Dominican Republic sign agreement for $251 million dollars

The Dominican government signed a US$251 million agreement to implement the cooperation strategy for the next five years of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the country.

President Luis Abinader, the Minister of Economy, Miguel Ceara Hatton, and the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Robert W. Thomas, signed the bilateral agreement on Tuesday.

Since 1962, the United States has allocated 1.8 billion dollars for development projects in the country through USAID.

This bilateral agreement follows up on the high-level dialogue and joint declaration on institutional reforms made last April 28 between the Dominican Government and the Government of the United States, where they pledged to dedicate efforts to support important issues such as police reform, the fight against corruption, citizen security, strengthening mechanisms to improve transparency and the
transparency and independence of state oversight agencies, and the fight against human trafficking, among others.

The Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Robert W. Thomas, emphasized that the agreement’s objectives will respond to the priority areas described in the National Development Strategy of the Dominican Republic and the priorities of the administration of President Luis Abinader. He also noted that the agreement supports investing in environmental conservation and renewable energy, improving health, and other public services for a healthier and more productive society.

The main goal of the agreement is to promote a more secure, inclusive, and the prosperous Dominican Republic that advances local, border, and regional resilience focused on several pillars. The first focus is on policy reform and effective governance centered on transparency, accountability, equity, social and environmental protection, and legal and regulatory reforms. This pillar seeks to identify practical solutions for policies that can improve public services. Another approach of this pillar is to work on public policies that seek collective solutions for marginalized communities and foster a more inclusive civil society.

The second pillar is to improve the effectiveness of public health services, such as access to clean water, primary education, and electric wiring. This pillar will encourage strengthening the justice sector, health service delivery, and partnerships with the private sector to co-create and co-execute initiatives that support service systems that identify solutions to environmental challenges.

The third and final pillar is local sustainability and resilience through locally created and led development initiatives and solutions. Coalition building and investment in local organizations will promote youth development and prevent crime and violence. Finally, this pillar seeks to strengthen and improve the quality of health and HIV services.

The signing of the bilateral agreement was held at the Fundación Pediátrica por un Mañana, an organization that has improved the lives of 1,700 young mothers, many of the victims of gender-based violence, early union, and teenage pregnancy, with USAID funds by providing them with psychosocial support, educational opportunities, and vocational training needed to become empowered agents of change.

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