The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced multiple initiatives at the Ninth Summit of the Americas, hosted by the United States in Los Angeles, California in June 2022. President Biden announced key initiatives that USAID will play a significant role implementing, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced several initiatives, targets, and partnerships to support the Biden-Harris Administration's initiatives for the region.
Humanitarian Assistance and Migration Integration Programming
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection:
- USAID is placing an important focus on integrating migrant populations into host countries and expanding programming throughout the region to help people find hope and opportunity in their communities.
- USAID is supporting labor pathways and integration and providing life-saving humanitarian assistance.
- USAID will provide up to $35.9 million to promote the social and economic integration of millions of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in South America through policy reform, pathways for legal status, professional certification, job training and placement, microenterprise creation, access to financial services, and other socio-economic integration efforts.
- USAID will provide approximately $171 million in humanitarian assistance to respond to the Venezuela regional crisis.
- $72.7 million in funding for Venezuela to support healthcare, food, nutrition, water and sanitation, and protection services, through United Nations (UN) agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- $98.2 million in funding to support the provision of emergency food assistance to Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. With USAID support, humanitarian organizations are addressing acute food insecurity among Venezuelan migrants and refugees by providing hot meals, cash transfers, food vouchers, and food kits.
- USAID will provide up to $4.1 million in Central America to expand work in countries including Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama, which will support the social and economic integration of migrants from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti, and others throughout Central America.
Food Security and Resilience
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's goals to address food security and resilience in the region:
- Administrator Power announced approximately $331 million in humanitarian and long-term development assistance to help address food insecurity and improve the quality of life for people across the region.
- $198 million of emergency food assistance and related humanitarian programming such as nutrition, health, and protection, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.
- $95 million of FY 2021 Feed the Future funds that will help smallholder farmers in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Peru improve productivity of high-value horticulture crops, increase incomes, and bolster farmers’ capacity to withstand shocks like higher fertilizer prices and impacts of climate change.
- An additional $37 million, subject to Congressional approval, will also go toward addressing medium- to long-term term food security and resilience measures in the region.
- USAID is accelerating ongoing efforts working with smallholder farmers in Latin America to increase their agricultural productivity, diversify their incomes, strengthen market connections, expand access to finance, and improve household level nutrition.
Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Advancing Women’s Economic Participation
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to support women’s economic empowerment in Latin America, and prevent and respond to gender-based violence in the region, which is a central pillar of the U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America:
- USAID is providing up to $6.5 million in Guatemala will help break the cycle of violence affecting women, youth, LGBTQI+ persons, and Indigenous groups by providing access to violence prevention interventions and to justice, legal and recovery services.
- USAID will invest up to $2.7 million in Honduras to strengthen access to security and justice for survivors of gender-based violence by emphasizing responsiveness, accountability, and efficiency through targeted institutional reform that will decrease the violence, impunity, and corruption that drive migration.
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to strengthen cooperation on climate action in the Americas, USAID launched the new project Amazonia Connect:
- USAID will provide up to $12.3 million to promote deforestation-free and climate-smart approaches to commodity production in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Amazonia Connect will advance the Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks by promoting deforestation-free and climate-smart approaches to commodity production in key Amazonian landscapes in South America.
- The funds will provide training and monitoring tools to guarantee the production and verification of low-carbon and deforestation-free products. Verified products will then be purchased by private sector companies that have invested directly into deforestation-free production.
- As Amazonia Connect will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and conserve important biodiversity while improving livelihoods and enhancing climate resilience, it supports farmers while also protecting the environment. Amazonia Connect will bring existing pockets of supply innovation together with demand for sustainable products to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at scale.
U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's announcement of the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030):
- USAID will partner with the people of the Caribbean to facilitate climate adaptation and resilience, support the transition to renewable energy, and bolster energy security and resilience in the region.
- As part of PACC 2030 and USAID’s ongoing Caribbean Energy Initiative, the new Regional Energy Sector Reform program will help analyze clean energy investment opportunities in the region. Launched in March 2022, the program will work with partners across the region to improve utility performance and reduce policy, regulatory, and legal constraints to private investment in clean energy.
- USAID continues to work with partners in the Caribbean to implement the reforms needed to spur confident investment in renewable energy.
Central American Service Corps
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's announcement of the Central American Service Corps (CASC) initiative to be administered by USAID:
- USAID’s planned $50 million investment in CASC will address the drivers of irregular migration among those most likely to migrate by engaging youth in locally driven service opportunities, providing a modest stipend, offering work and life skills acquisition, and enhancing young people’s sense of rootedness and commitment to their communities.
- By supporting life and job skills, offering hope, and building confidence and a sense of belonging for youth, the CASC initiative will generate leadership potential and help foster optimism among youth in Central America that a better future is possible for themselves and for their communities.
COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Improving Global Health Security in the Americas
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's announcement of the Global Health Security (GHS) and Americas Health Corps (Fuerza de Salud de las Américas) initiatives:
- USAID will expand on its COVID-19 activities in the region to invest in global health security initiatives in Peru, Guatemala, and Brazil in 2022, and in FY 2023 will expand programming to seven countries (Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, and Peru).
- USAID will support these initiatives through existing programing, including virtual training via PAHO for health workers on maternal/prenatal health, tuberculosis prevention/control, malaria, digital health, and training for LAC midwifery cadre.
USAID Announces the Interagency Voices (Voces) Initiative at the Civil Society Forum
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's strategy to address the root causes of migration in Central America:
- Administrator Power announced the launch of the interagency Voices (Voces) Initiative, which will provide approximately $42 million for USAID activities that protect, defend, and promote civic space in Central America.
- This includes a focus on promoting digital democracy and countering digital authoritarianism; promoting freedom of expression and strengthening independent media; and countering criminalization and providing protection.
- The U.S. government will work alongside like-minded partners in government, the international community, civil society, the private sector, and beyond to advocate for adherence to international human rights obligations such as freedom of expression and association.
USAID, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Labor Guidance on Fair Recruitment Practices for Temporary Migrant Workers
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to expand lawful pathways through H-2 temporary worker programs:
- USAID Administrator Samantha Power and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced “Guidance on Fair Recruitment Practices for Temporary Migrant Workers.”
- The guidance provides principles and guidelines on preventing abuse of prospective workers as the Biden-Harris Administration seeks to expand lawful pathways through the H-2 temporary worker programs.
- The guidance is part of a multi-agency effort to promote best practices by those countries seeking to increase participation in the H-2A program for temporary agricultural workers and the H-2B program for seasonal non-agricultural workers, as well as recruiters and employers who rely on these programs.