Paraguay, an upper middle income country about the size of California, is located in the heart of South America. With 7.3 million people, this small but open economy has had an average growth of 4% over the last decade. However, Paraguay’s growth is very volatile, and mostly reliant on natural resources. Paraguay is the fourth largest soybean and the ninth largest beef exporter in the world. Unfortunately, and despite this steady growth, inequality persists, with a GINI Index of 45.7 (2019).
Paraguay has a relatively young democratic history dating back to 1989, after the fall of a 35-year long military dictatorship. Although much progress has been made in terms of transparency and government accountability, institutional weaknesses and governance challenges remain, including social inequality, an authoritarian tradition, weak civil society, and judicial corruption and impunity.
To address the priorities of the Government of Paraguay, our programs focus on building a culture of lawfulness to effectively tackle corruption by strengthening the rule of law, advancing a more formal economy, and improving civil society oversight of corruption. USAID’s programs are implemented mostly through local civil society organizations and in close coordination with Paraguayan government counterparts and international donors.