In May 2021, Vice President Harris launched a Call to Action for Northern Central America that challenged U.S. corporations to invest and create economic opportunity in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. To date, the Call to Action and the Partnership for Central America (PCA) have galvanized more than $4.2 billion in private sector commitments to create economic opportunity in northern Central America.
To build on the momentum generated under this successful initiative, today Vice President Harris and PCA launched the next chapter by announcing “Central America Forward.” Consistent with the broader goals of the U.S. Strategy to Address the Root Causes of Migration, Central America Forward is a framework that goes beyond addressing the economic drivers of migration. It incorporates a focus on good governance and labor rights into this public-private partnership, key priorities under the Strategy that are also essential in ensuring the success of our private sector partners.
Central America Forward exemplifies the U.S. government’s commitment to encouraging private sector investments. It builds on the programming being deployed under each pillar of the Root Causes Strategy, effectively combining Call to Action commitments with dedicated U.S. government programming and resources to facilitate investment-led growth.
The framework includes a series of new U.S. government commitments to complement and support private sector investments.
- A new U.S. Government Northern Central America Investment Facilitation Team, which will support clean energy infrastructure development, facilitate private sector operations, and promote sustainable economic development in the region.
- Increased access to U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) financing for private sector-led projects in Northern Central America, with a focus on enhancing economic opportunities for underserved communities where financing can have the highest development and migration reduction impacts.
- USAID workforce development programs to train youth in skills demanded by the private sector and provide for the workforce development needs of the future.
- The Central America Service Corps, announced in June 2022, which will provide young people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with paid community service opportunities, mentorship, and a path to future employment.
- A “Good Governance, Good Jobs” Declaration outlining U.S. government and PCA commitments to combat corruption and protect labor rights in the region.
- A Business-Enabling Environment Action Plan, which will leverage new private sector investments to promote anti-corruption, good governance, and labor compliance while fostering a healthy investment climate.
- New worker-driven Corporate Social Responsibility tools and targeted approaches to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations, with a focus on empowering women via the “In Her Hands” initiative.
In addition, as part of the implementation of this Framework, the Partnership for Central America has identified the following goals:
- Job Creation & Sustainable Income: Create and secure jobs for 1 million individuals by 2032.
- Agriculture: Increase the incomes of 125,000 farmers with 200,000 farmers covered with disaster risk protections by 2027.
- Financial Inclusion: Financially include at least 6 million individuals and provide 1 million small businesses with access to financing by 2027.
- Digital Access: Provide digital access to over 4 million people by 2027.
- Gender Equity: Expand financial inclusion, digital access, and business services to 2.5 million women to promote their economic empowerment by 2027.
- Education and Training: Provide education and training for 75,000 individuals across the region by 2027 to prepare them for employment.
- Access to Capital: Construct a $75 million debt fund to provide loans to small- and medium-sized businesses, with a primary focus on women-owned businesses, by 2027.
- Infrastructure: Facilitate at least $500 million in infrastructure deals by 2027.