The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
On June 8, 2022, Administrator Samantha Power attended various engagements while in Los Angeles, California, for the Ninth Summit of the Americas.
In the morning, Administrator Power delivered keynote remarks at the Summit’s Civil Society Forum and participated in a Q&A session with members of civil society from across the Americas moderated by NTN24 reporter Gustau Alegret. During her remarks Administrator Power announced the U.S. government’s new Voices (Voces) Initiative, which includes a commitment of over $40 million to address shrinking civic space and bolster civil society in Central America.
Afterwards, the Administrator visited Homeboy Industries, the largest gang rehabilitation and reentry program in the world, where she toured the facility and met with Homeboy leadership and participants to discuss USAID’s partnership with Homeboy in Central America to provide a variety of social services and employment opportunities to previously incarcerated, formerly-gang affiliated individuals. Additionally, Homeboy participants provided a briefing on the organization’s efforts to address food insecurity and discussed with the Administrator key takeaways for community-based food security work.
Continuing the conversation on food security, Administrator Power convened a panel discussion on the impact of the global food crisis in the Americas with the Foreign Minister of Honduras Eduardo Enrique Reina, Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Manuel Otero, Deputy Program Director for Latin America and Caribbean of the International Crisis Group Renata Segura, and Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Quisqueya University Gael Pressoir.
During her opening remarks, the Administrator announced nearly $331 million in new U.S. funding for food security and humanitarian assistance, which includes funding for direct emergency food assistance and a range of assistance that will support medium- to long-term food security and resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Later, Administrator Power attended the inaugural ceremony of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, where President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks.
Administrator Power then met with Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader. During the meeting, Administrator Power and President Abinader discussed ways to address and mitigate the impact of rising food, energy, and other commodity prices, as well as ways to advance on key themes from the Summit of the Americas to strengthen the critical partnership between the United States and the Dominican Republic. Administrator Power also conveyed the condolences of the United States to President Abinader and his Administration following the killing of Dominican Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Orlando Jorge Mera earlier this week.