Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Organization of American States (OAS) to mark the official start of the PROCEER Barbados project, and all components of the programme???s in-country training.

Mr. Brathwaite initialled the document today, along with OAS Representative to Barbados, Ambassador Francis McBarnette, during the official opening of the National Council on Substance Abuse???s new headquarters in the Armaira Building at the corner of 1st Avenue Belleville and Pine Road, St. Michael.

The Attorney General called on stakeholders to expand the drug fight and to pay closer attention to those already incarcerated. ???If we can save one person, the effort is worth it,??? he urged.

Ambassador McBarnette explained that PROCEER (Spanish for the Training and Certification Programme for Drug and Violence Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation), was designed to develop and strengthen institutions, policies and strategies in OAS Member States to treat and rehabilitate persons with problems stemming from drug abuse and violence.

He said PROCEER-Caribbean was the first regionally-based approach to training and certification, and the first to incorporate prevention and treatment in a single initiative.??Noting the project was launched in Barbados in May 2011, Mr. McBarnette said five Barbadian officials were trained in drug prevention and treatment in 2013 and an additional six last year.

???These week-long train-the-trainer events were conducted in Miami, Florida, and have equipped these officials with skills and training materials to be utilised in the in-country sessions,??? he stated, noting that he was looking forward to seeing training start on the island in the near future.

Similarly, training began in 2013 in Jamaica in prevention and treatment; in Antigua and Barbuda in the area of drug prevention; and in Trinidad and Tobago in drug treatment early last year.

Since its launch in 2011, PROCEER-Caribbean has had a number of achievements, including the completion of an institutional and human resource profile and training needs assessment in the Caribbean.??It has also established a Caribbean Advisory Council, task forces, and selected point persons from all OAS Caribbean member states.

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