MANCHESTER, UK – The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) has been awarded a $2 million grant by the United States government to reduce armed violence and organised crime fuelled by the diversion and proliferation of illicit weapons across the Caribbean.

The funding, provided by the U.S. State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA) will serve to conduct activities to secure weapons and ammunition stockpiles across the Caribbean region, and support MAG’s ongoing partnership with the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS) to reduce the risk of diversion of firearms and ammunition and minimize unplanned explosions in the Caribbean. The grant will also allow the partners to enhance support to additional countries in the region.

State-held stockpiles of weapons and ammunition may be vulnerable to diversion worldwide, including in the Caribbean. The joint partnership between CARICOM IMPACS and MAG seeks to strengthen national stockpile management capabilities by providing training, equipment and technical assistance to Caribbean States. MAG established its partnership with CARICOM IMPACS and began operations in the Caribbean in 2022.

So far, CARICOM IMPACS and MAG have conducted assessments in seven CARICOM member states, destroyed more than 1,700 small arms and light weapons,  and delivered in-country training to more than 70 participants from the relevant national authorities.

Reducing the threat of armed violence is a key priority for the Caribbean region, which is inhabited by less than one per cent of the world’s population, but experiences 23% of all recorded homicides. Although security conditions vary between countries, the rate of violent deaths in the Caribbean is almost three times the global average. Firearms are used in more than half of all homicides on average in the Caribbean. In some countries, this proportion reaches 90% (IMPACS-SAS, 2023).

“The financial support from the U.S. government comes as CARICOM IMPACS embarks on ambitious arms control initiatives. These efforts will support states to stop gun trafficking that fuels violence by criminal organizations and negatively impacts the region’s sustainable development.”, noted CARICOM IMPACS Executive Director, Lt. Col. Michael Jones. “We look forward to working with MAG to assist countries in reducing the diversion of firearms and ammunition, minimise the risks of unplanned explosions and exploring opportunities for developing sustainable and effective interventions,” he continued.

MAG’s Regional Programme Manager for the Caribbean, Nikita Mohammed, stated “The illicit trafficking of drugs and firearms across the Caribbean has resulted in growing levels of gun violence in multiple countries. Securing stockpiles of weapons and ammunition is vital to improving safety for people in the region.”

Karen Chandler, Director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, said “WRA is delighted to support MAG operations in the Caribbean for the first time. The progress made by MAG to date has been instrumental in bolstering security in a region where the presence of illicit trafficking of small arms, light weapons and ammunition can have devastating consequences.”

WRA funded operations in the Caribbean will see CARICOM IMPACS and MAG provide infrastructure upgrades to weapons and ammunition stores and destroy dangerous stockpiles of weapons, ammunition, and explosives to reduce the risk of diversion and minimize the likelihood of unplanned explosions.

MAG experts will also deliver training sessions on weapons and ammunition destruction and management. Training is essential to strengthening capacity across the region for conventional weapons destruction and ensuring long-term sustainability.

Ms. Mohammed added, “We are excited to continue working closely with CARICOM IMPACS to implement effective strategies aimed at addressing the diversion, proliferation and illicit use of weapons and ammunition within CARICOM member states.

“This grant will enable us to increase safety and security for civilians through taking steps towards reducing armed violence and contributing towards the achievement of the goals of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, particularly Goal 4.

“The continued support of the U.S. government is crucial to our peacebuilding operations worldwide. We are extremely thankful for their continued trust and partnership.”

For more information about MAG’s work in the Caribbean region, click here.


CARICOM IMPACS is the coordinating and implementation arm of the region’s multilateral crime and security management architecture, specifically designed to administer a collective response to the crime and security priorities of its Member States. Its members comprise fifteen (15) CARICOM Member States and five (5) Associate Members. IMPACS comprises the Headquarters which is in Trinidad and Tobago and two sub-Agencies, the Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC) and the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre (RIFC).

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MAG (Mines Advisory Group) is a global humanitarian and advocacy organisation that finds, removes and destroys landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs from places affected by conflict. MAG also provides risk education programmes, particularly for children, so people can live, work and play as safely as possible until they clear the land.

The organisation, which employs some 6,000 people in 30 countries, also delivers work to reduce armed violence by educating people about the risks of small arms and light weapons and by destroying and marking weapons and helping authorities to safely store arms and ammunition.

Since 1989, MAG has helped over 20 million people in 70 countries rebuild their lives after war. In 1997, MAG shared the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in banning landmines.

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