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Belize - US Relations

The United States and Belize traditionally have had close and cordial relations. The United States is Belize's principal trading partner and major source of investment funds. It is also home to the largest Belizean community outside Belize, estimated to be over 100,000. Belize's economic growth and accompanying democratic political stability are important U.S. objectives.

International crime issues dominate the agenda of bilateral relations between the United States and Belize. The United States is working closely with the Government of Belize to fight illicit narcotics trafficking, and Belize benefits from the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). Through CARSI, the U.S. Government seeks to strengthen citizen safety and improve the government’s capacity to confront and disrupt criminal organizations. Both governments also seek to control the flow of illegal migrants to the United States through Belize. Belize and the United States brought into force a Stolen Vehicle Treaty, an Extradition Treaty, and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between 2001 and 2003.

The United States bolstered Belize’s efforts to combat drug trafficking organizations in 2014 by providing equipment, training, and technical assistance. The United States provided funding to the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in order to implement an interconnected Personal Identification and Registration System at all Immigration Offices, and land, sea and air border posts in the country. The project has strengthened the capacity of immigration services to more efficiently oversee and protect the nation’s borders. The project included the installation of a computerized information management system designed to detect and register all entries and exits of persons. With continuing U.S. support, IOM is planning a second phase for this project in 2015.

The U.S. military has a diverse and growing assistance program in Belize that has included the construction and renovation of several schools and youth hostels, medical assistance programs, and drug reduction programs. The U.S. Military Liaison Office (MLO), in conjunction with the Belize Defense Force, also worked to establish the Belize National Coast Guard. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) closed its Belize office in August 1996 after a 13-year program during which USAID provided $110 million worth of development assistance to Belize. Belize still benefits from USAID regional programs. In addition, during the past 42 years, almost 2,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Belize. As of October 2011, the Peace Corps had 65 volunteers working in Belize.

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Page last modified: 31-03-2021 10:58:47 ZULU