The United States has provided development assistance to Paraguay for over 60 years. During this period, U.S. support has concentrated on agriculture, health, education, public works, and economic reform, while also strengthening democratic institutions and environmental protection.
Bilateral development assistance commenced in 1942 with assistance focused on three sectors: health, education, and agriculture. Notable achievements during this period included the construction of the buildings that house the Ministry of Health, the Barrio Obrero and Juan Max Boettner hospitals, and rural infrastructure works in health, education, and agriculture.
During the following years, U.S. development assistance to Paraguay was implemented through two programs: “Point Four” in the 1950s and the “Alliance for Progress” in 1961. Between 1960 and 1970, successful projects included:
- Water and sewer systems of Asuncion
- The Trans-Chaco Highway
- Roads to Ciudad del Este and Pedro Juan Caballero
- Introduction of pasteurized milk, artificial insemination, and the concept of agricultural extension
- Provision of access to credit to farmers through small loans
- Strengthening of university-level training in nursing, agronomy, and veterinary sciences
- Support for the creation of the Technical Planning Secretariat, which reports directly to the President on matters related to long-term strategic planning for the government
Following Paraguay’s democratic elections in 1989, USAID provided support to strengthen the Electoral Tribunal, to help ensure free, fair and transparent elections. Assistance from USAID and other donors facilitated judicial reform, leading to the replacement of an inquisitorial judicial system with a modern adversarial, public and oral criminal system.