U.S. Announces Aid to Tackle Illicit Weapons in Central Asia

The United States is contributing $402,000 in assistance to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) toward training and proper storage of small arms and light weapons in the Central Asia region, the U.S. Mission to the OSCE announced November 6.

The funds will support two projects based in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. One grant of $120,000 will support an OSCE project in Tajikistan focused on providing capacity development and technical assistance to reduce explosive hazards in the Central Asian region. The second donation of $282,000 will assist in capacity building for the Kyrgyz Republic in the destruction and proper storage of weapons.

“The United States is a global leader in efforts to mitigate the illicit trafficking and destabilizing accumulation of conventional weapons through multilateral diplomacy and bilateral assistance to countries,” says U.S. Permanent Representative to the OSCE Daniel Baer. “Last year’s ministerial council meeting encouraged participating states to consider voluntary contributions towards that end. We are especially pleased to be able to announce our support towards building that capacity within the OSCE community.”

The proliferation of illicit conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, in regions of the world suffering from political instability and violent conflict has proven a major obstacle to peace, economic development, and efforts to rebuild post-war societies. Since 1993, the United States has delivered over $2.5 billion in aid to help overcome threats from land mines and to destroy unsecured weapons and munitions in over 90 countries around the world.

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