Readout on USAID Administrator Samantha Power’s Day Two Activities Focused on USAID Engagement in Central America

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

The below is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala:‎

On Day 2, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power held several sessions aimed at addressing the root causes of irregular migration in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

In the morning, Administrator Power officially launched USAID’s Northern Triangle Task Force, in a call with Agency leadership in the region and in Washington, D.C. Led by Executive Director Michael Camilleri, the task force will ensure a coordinated, unified, bold, and creative approach to addressing the causes of irregular migration, as directed by President Biden’s Executive Order.

To underscore USAID’s recognition that civil society is critical to democracy, Administrator Power met virtually this morning with civil society leaders, in El Salvador, and then met this afternoon with such leaders in Honduras. The participants included human rights defenders, anti-corruption advocates, and others, and the meetings followed Vice President Harris' recent discussions with similar leaders in Guatemala. The participants described the challenges they were facing in their work, and Administrator Power conveyed USAID’s unwavering commitment to supporting civil society in its efforts to hold governments accountable to their citizens. She also reiterated the U.S. Government’s deep concern regarding the summary dismissal of the Salvadoran Attorney General and the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, and pledged USAID’s continuing support for rule of law and accountability in El Salvador.

Administrator Power also met with leadership of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to discuss its ramped-up efforts in the region. The DART leads the U.S. humanitarian response in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras focused on mitigating the impact of recurrent drought, severe food insecurity, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially in communities still recovering from the back-to-back hurricanes in November. Last week, Vice President Harris announced an additional $125 million in USAID humanitarian assistance to support these efforts. And as the Vice President noted in her speech today to the Council of the Americas, the United States is focused on addressing both the acute factors and the root causes of migration, so that the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras can find opportunity and security at home.

Administrator Power concluded the day with a call with Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to discuss how USAID and DHS can deepen their collaboration. The Administrator emphasized the importance of creating legal pathways for Central Americans to work in the U.S. to relieve pressure on irregular migration. In coordination with DHS and other U.S. Government agencies USAID has been working to strengthen the capacity of the Labor Ministries in the region and to help connect certain visa applicants with American businesses that have labor shortages unmet by the American workforce.

The United States is proud of our longstanding partnership and friendship with the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. With our humanitarian assistance, USAID is providing critical aid to those who need it most. Through programs that advance security, prosperity, and good governance, USAID is addressing the drivers of irregular migration and helping to foster opportunities so that the people of Central America can build better lives at home and not feel compelled to make the dangerous journey north.

For more information on USAID’s efforts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, visit here.

Last updated: June 14, 2021

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