WASHINGTON, May 7 -- The U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, has announced that it expects to award a maximum of 20 discretionary grants to support the Central America Regional Security Initiative goal of strengthening citizen security in Belize with the help of youth and community involvement.

The estimated total program funding available was cited as $500,000 with a ceiling of $200,000 for each award under this program.

This funding opportunity is open to public, private and state controlled institutions of higher education; nonprofits organizations; and individuals.

A funding opportunity notice from the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, states: "US Embassy Belmopan invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to advance the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) goal of strengthening citizen security. In addition to the US Embassy Belmopan, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prioritizes the focus on at-risk youth.Root causes of crime and violence in Belizeinclude, but are not limited to, the lack of economic development, the lack of skills and/or tradecraft, the lack of conflict resolution skills, and/or the lack of opportunity for youth. The proposed award will cultivate positive social values such as civic pride, respect for each other, respect for law and order, integrity, importance of education and a sense of responsibility for the community. Equipping marginalized youth and/or communities with economic opportunities and/or business training can help them reach their true potential as entrepreneurs and improve citizen security."

The funding opportunity number is S-BH200-12-ESF. The application closing date is June 3.