US ups humanitarian assistance to Central America, urges international cooperation

The United States will increase its humanitarian assistance to address migration challenges in Central America, the State Department affirmed on Tuesday.

The $310 million in additional U.S. assistance will support the immediate needs of “vulnerable people and communities” including refugees, other displaced people, and vulnerable migrants in Central America and third countries in the region.

The funds will address a number of pressing concerns including access to shelter and other safe spaces, health care, legal assistance, and psychosocial support.

Other initiatives include family reunification, refugee integration into host communities, and resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic, among others.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in a statement urged other countries to partner with the U.S. “to support people in need” despite the U.S. being “the world’s largest single humanitarian donor.”

“International cooperation is essential for effective and efficient migration management,” said Blinken.

This increased assistance “represents the next concrete step” to addressing both the “root causes” of irregular migration and strengthening migration management in Central America, according to the statement.

Vice President Harris, in a meeting with President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala on Monday, said the “United States plans to increase relief to the region [and] strengthen our cooperation to manage migration in an effective, secure, and humane manner.”

Beyond providing humanitarian relief, the U.S. is working to “lay the groundwork for longer-term structural change [in the region],” said U.S. Special Envoy to the Northern Triangle Ricardo Zúñiga.

In their meeting, both Harris and Giammattei stressed the importance of putting people at the center of their efforts.

Harris said that the Western Hemisphere “is our collective home” and that the U.S. has “a responsibility” to engage with all people there.

Giammattei said it was critical to support all people regardless of “ethnic origin”.

“We seem to have forgotten that we need to fight to preserve the life of all members of our society – all members,” he said. “The stability of all members of a country without regard to ethnic origin or anything else of that nature”.

The increased assistance – initially announced by Harris – will come from several U.S. agencies: $104 million through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; $125 million through USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance; $26 million through the Department of Defense, and $55 million through the Department of Agriculture, according to the statement. The Biden administration has pledged a total $4 billion towards regional initiatives.

Vice President Harris is expected to travel to Guatemala in June.

Show More
error: Alert: Share This Content !!

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker