Vice President Harris has led the Root Causes Strategy, which aligns U.S. Government efforts to address the economic, governance, and security drivers of irregular migration from Central America. The Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy combines significant U.S. Government resources with substantial private sector investments to support the long-term development of the region. To advance the strategy, the Vice President met with regional leaders and traveled to Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras to launch new initiatives that sustainably address the root causes of migration. The Vice President also brought together private sector leaders through her Call to Action initiative that has generated more than $1.2 billion in commitments to create new jobs and opportunities for people in the region. In addition, she has engaged partners around the world to generate new commitments.
These are long-term efforts, but under the Vice President’s leadership, the Biden-Harris Administration is seeing significant progress toward creating hope for people in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that a better life can be found at home. Highlights to date include:
- U.S. initiatives are providing micro and small businesses access to $100 million in financing to support economic recovery in the region.
- To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Government has delivered more than 15 million free-of-cost vaccine doses bilaterally and in partnership with COVAX to countries in northern Central America.
- The U.S. Government has provided $26.4 million to El Salvador, $81.5 million to Guatemala and $57.1 million to Honduras to support the fight against COVID-19.
- U.S. Government support for private sector companies helped create more than 70,000 jobs.
- The U.S. Government’s $300 million Centroamérica Local initiative is empowering local organizations to address the drivers of irregular migration.
- U.S. support for the region’s agricultural sector is generating increased incomes for farm families and producers.
- Additional U.S. funding for school feeding programs is improving food security in northern Central America.
- A new Department of Justice Anti-Corruption Task Force, which was announced by the Vice President in June 2021, is prioritizing prosecutions against corrupt actors in the region.
- U.S. sanctions and visa restrictions are targeting perpetrators of corruption and serious human rights abuse.
- A new task force to prevent migrant smuggling and human trafficking, which was announced by the Vice President in June 2021, is disrupting trafficking operations and its work has already led to the indictment eight leaders of human smuggling organizations.
- U.S. programs are supporting victims of unaccompanied migrant children, gender-based violence, and survivors of human trafficking.
- New U.S. Government programs and scholarships are improving access to education for nearly 18,000 returning/potential migrants and at-risk youth.
- U.S. Government partnerships with local organizations are increasing income-generating opportunities for thousands of indigenous women and girls.
- U.S. programs are empowering women entrepreneurs to launch and scale their businesses across the region.
- The U.S. Government is supporting at-risk youth across the region to strengthen their ability to resist gang recruitment.
- New programming in northern Central America is focused on increasing collective action to address child and forced labor and improve occupational safety and health conditions for workers in the region.
As part of the Vice President’s Call to Action:
- Microsoft is connecting four million people to broadband across the region, with over one million already connected to date.
- Nespresso will invest $150 million to double the number of farmers it works with in the region and begin to source coffee from El Salvador and Honduras.
- Mastercard is bringing five million people into the formal financial economy while digitizing one million micro and small businesses.
- Parkdale Mills is investing $150 million to support a new yarn spinning facility in Honduras and an existing facility in Virginia, supporting 500 jobs in each location.
- PepsiCo is investing at least $190 million in northern Central America through 2025 to improve its plants and expand distribution routes.
- Grupo Mariposa is providing over 70,000 small-business owners with access to credit and digital services.
For additional details, please review the Report on the U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America.