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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 30, 2008


U.S. Commits Funding For Labor and Environmental Protection for Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement Countries

The United States will commit $39.6 million of FY 2007 funds to help countries in the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) enhance labor and environmental protection practices. The new funding will complement activities underway that received $19.84 million in FY 2005 and $39.6 million in FY 2006. These activities, both local and regional in scope, were identified in consultation with partner governments to ensure they address each country’s priorities.

$20.3 million will support initiatives to:

  • Strengthen labor ministries by improving the structure and functioning of inspectorates and increasing the efficiency of the complaint handling process;
  • Strengthen judicial systems to improve effectiveness in enforcing existing labor laws;
  • Eliminate gender and other types of discrimination in the workplace;
  • Enhance benchmarking and verification procedures;
  • Promote the development of a culture of compliance with labor laws.

$19.3 million will support initiatives to:

  • Improve the environmental, legal, and regulatory structures as well as ensure effective implementation and enforcement of environmental laws;
  • Enhance biodiversity and conservation;
  • Promote market-based conservation activities such as sustainable tourism and sustainable agricultural and forest products;
  • Increase private sector environmental performance;
  • Address specific CAFTA-DR obligations that promote meaningful public participation and effective enforcement of environmental laws.

2008/071


Released on January 30, 2008

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