Saturday, April 5, 2008

Borrowing to Fight Crime?

IDB approves US$24.5 million loan for citizen security program in Trinidad and Tobago-
I came across this article on

Washington -- March 13, 2008 -- The Inter-American Development Bank announced today the approval of a US$24.5 million loan to Trinidad and Tobago for a citizen security program to reduce crime and violence.
The operation will focus in 22 high crime pilot communities through the financing of preventive interventions addressing the most proximal and modifiable risk factors. The program will include community action, support to the police services and the institutional strengthening of the Ministry of National Security.
“The program will contribute to the decrease in the rate of homicides, robberies and wounding in partner communities and will increase the perception of safety in the partner communities,” said IDB team leader Jorge Lamas. “It will also reduce injuries related to firearms, child maltreatment, domestic violence and youth violence; and increase the collective efficacy to prevent violence”.
The loan is for a 20-year term, with a 6 year grace period at an adjustable interest rate. Local counterpart financing will total US$10.5 million. The Ministry of National Security will carry out the program
Somehow I missed this. Maybe I am cynical but how does this program intend to cover all these very admirable points? Trinidad and Tobago will be stuck paying the interest on this loan and I can wager that there is not going to be much difference in the homicide rate. Why so negative?
Until our basic infrastructure improves- better pay for teachers, more support for the critical NGOs that are battling in the most crime infested areas, and a recognition of the importance of new schools and hospitals, we can borrow millions- the underlying problems will not change.
It's beyond sad, it's tragic.

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