One year ago, President Biden hosted leaders from across our hemisphere for the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The leaders came together to forge a path for the Americas that builds on our vast economic potential, remarkable and diverse people, and deep democratic traditions. The overarching theme of the Summit was that our nations are stronger together than on our own, and this sentiment was reflected in many of the initiatives and commitments President Biden and Vice President Harris announced in Los Angeles.
Over the past year, the Biden-Harris Administration has made significant and impactful progress in following through on those commitments, underscoring the importance of our partnerships in the region.
Administration achievements since the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles include:
A bold and ambitious vision for creating a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable Americas: During the Summit of the Americas, President Biden, recognizing the enormous economic potential in the region, called for a new approach to cooperation in the hemisphere with the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, a historic agreement to drive our hemisphere’s recovery and growth, and deliver for our working people.
- On January 27, 2023 the United States and 11 partner countries advanced the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity when foreign affairs and trade ministers jointly declared our commitment to drive more inclusive and sustainable regional integration in a group of economies representing about 90 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s GDP and nearly two thirds of its people.
- The Administration ramped up bilateral engagement with Americas Partnership countries, including through Special Presidential Advisor Chris Dodd’s frequent travel to the region where he discussed the initiative with each partner head of state.
- Following through on the President’s promise to reinvigorate the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to mobilize more investment in the region, on March 17-19, President Biden sent Dodd to the IDB annual meeting in Panama to lead the call to begin negotiations for a capital increase at the Inter-American Investment Corporation – IDB Invest.
Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection: In response to the historic challenge of migration impacting the entire hemisphere, President Biden mobilized 20 leaders at the Summit of the Americas last year to endorse the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. The Los Angeles Declaration is a first-of-its-kind framework to promote responsibility-sharing under three core pillars: (1) stabilization; (2) expanding legal pathways and protection; and (3) humane border management.
- In October of 2022, ministers of the endorsing states approved an implementation plan in Lima, Peru, with each endorsing state appointing a Special Coordinator to meet regularly and drive collective action toward the plan.
- Also in October of 2022, the United States and Mexico jointly launched a new initiative under the Los Angeles Declaration to address Venezuelan migration. By increasing both consequences for unlawful entry and access to legal pathways, we achieved a 90 percent drop in irregular Venezuelan migration at our border. We jointly expanded the successful initiative to Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans in January 2023, further reducing irregular migration and creating a safe, legal pathway for 30,000 people per month from these four countries.
- In March of 2023, the United States and Canada announced a similar initiative, combining increased consequences at our shared border with Canada’s commitment to offer an additional 15,000 migrants from the Western Hemisphere a legal pathway to Canada this year. This initiative similarly led to over a 90 percent drop in irregular migration into Canada.
- In April of 2023, the United States, Panama, and Colombia announced a trilateral campaign to reduce irregular migration in the Darien in line with the core principles of the Los Angeles Declaration. To this end, Panama and Colombia each launched major counter-smuggling operations on June 2.
- In May of 2023, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State announced the creation of the regional processing center initiative in Central and South America, where migrants will be able to access a number of legal pathways to the United States. Canada, Spain, and Mexico have also agreed to accept cases, reinforcing regional approach under the Los Angeles Declaration.
- In the past year, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Belize each launched new regularization or temporary protected status policies to integrate hundreds of thousands of migrants in their countries. The United States has delivered on its commitment to support these frontline host countries, and partnered with multilateral development banks and other donors to do so.
Cities Summit of the Americas: During the Summit of the Americas, President Biden and Secretary Blinken announced that the United States would host the first Cities Summit of the Americas. On April 26-28, the Department of State and the City of Denver hosted the inaugural summit. The Cities Summit brought together more than 2,500 participants, including 250 mayors, to discuss how to implement at the local level the commitments adopted at the Summit of the Americas to work together on building resilient health systems, facilitate digital transformation, and bolster democratic governance, among others. The gathering was a fundamental and positive shift for U.S. engagement in the Americas. During the Summit:
- The Department of State launched the Cities Forward urban sustainability initiative, which will select 12 cities from across the Americas to develop and implement sustainability action plans and projects to promote job creation and investment, mitigate pollution, strengthen climate resilience, and improve health and welfare in underserved communities.
- The Inter-American Development Bank and the CAF – Development Bank of Latin America hosted a series of dialogues with mayors, local government officials, private sector leaders, and national development banks to identify new tools and concepts for mobilizing more investment to subnational governments.
- The Cities Summit provided a platform for mayors from across the hemisphere to share successful policies, programs, and other city-led initiatives ripe for expanding and scaling across the hemisphere.
Americas Health Corps: Latin America and the Caribbean were hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, suffering more than 40 percent of global reported deaths and seeing millions pushed back into poverty. The United States responded decisively to the pandemic by donating more than 71 million vaccine doses in the region, and is working with hemispheric partners to ensure we are better prepared for the next health emergency. At the Summit of the Americas last year, the White House and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) jointly announced the Americas Health Corps, an initiative aiming to provide basic and specialized training to 500,000 public health, health science, and medical professionals throughout the Americas in the next five years. In the first year of the Americas Health Corps, the United States has supported training of nearly 120,000 health workers across 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This puts us well on our way to achieving our commitment to building stronger and more resilient health systems in the hemisphere, starting with health workers. Since then, the United States has undertaken a number of efforts to train health workers, including doctors, nurses, community health workers, and laboratory technicians:
- In Brazil, the United States supported in-person and virtual workshops focused on COVID-19 vaccine-related topics—including case investigation and contact tracing—for community health workers and clinical staff in the Amazon to assist them to reach populations in remote areas.
- In Guatemala, the United States supported virtual webinars for health care workers also focused on COVID-19 safety protocols to support the phased re-opening of educational centers including schools.
- In Paraguay, the United States supported training of technical staff to use the first-of-its-kind digital system to monitor medical oxygen as part of overall strengthening of the oxygen ecosystem, a major vulnerability of Paraguay’s health system during the pandemic.
- In El Salvador, the United States supported training of health care workers on how to integrate test-to-treat programming to quickly identify new COVID-19 infections and initiate appropriate treatment in high-risk patients.
- The United States also supports PAHO’s Virtual Campus for Public Health to provide regional online training courses focused on capacity building for delivering quality health services in addition to emerging technical information for COVID-19 response.
U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030): Vice President Harris has led the Administration’s implementation of PACC 2030 to address the unique climate and energy challenges facing Caribbean nations. This month, the Vice President visited The Bahamas and in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the close ties between our nations, the Vice President announced a number of new activities that address security and firearms trafficking, the need for an enhanced diplomatic presence in the eastern Caribbean, the crisis in Haiti, and the U.S.–Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030). These announcements include more than $100 million in new assistance for the region.
These announcements build on the accomplishments made over the past year, which include:
- The United States, through USAID, is providing technical and financial support to help Barbados set up the Blue-Green Investment Corporation, a regional financing vehicle to finance projects that will help with climate change mitigation and adaptation, including resilient housing, renewable energy, green transportation, and water conservation.
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is leading the State Department’s Global Climate Action Partnership supporting Antigua and Barbuda with clean energy and energy resilience initiatives. These projects provide backup power for critical facilities. NREL is also supporting capacity building and workforce development in Antigua and Barbuda for the installation and maintenance of clean and resilient energy technologies such as: solar and battery energy storage systems, hurricane resistant wind turbines, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy efficiency improvements in buildings.
- In the Caribbean, the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources Power Sector Program is delivering regional webinars, workshops, and trainings to strengthen regulatory capacity to incentivize and procure clean energy projects, in partnership with the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation and the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators. This kicked off with a workshop as part of a CEO and Leadership Conference on May 21.
Food Security Action: USAID Administrator Power held a food security event last year in Los Angeles as part of the Summit of the Americas where she announced $331 million in funding to the region. Since the Summit, USAID has obligated more than $159 million to the region in support of food security assistance that will help ameliorate future shocks to global food systems following Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine, including:
- In Haiti, USAID provided more than 1,200 metric tons of food assistance to about 145,000 people since mid-October. In December 2022, USAID supported the distribution of more than 130 metric tons of food commodities, including cooking oil, peas, and rice, to more than 18,000 food-insecure individuals in Port-au-Prince’s Cité Soleil commune. Additionally, USAID-supported cash assistance provided $1.6 million to nearly 66,800 people in Nord-Ouest, Artibonite, and Centre departments during December.
- In Honduras, USAID initiated a soil mapping activity with food producer organizations to improve the understanding to grow more food. This information will be shared with fertilizer companies to determine the appropriate fertilizer formulation, reduce its overuse, and save costs for one of the most expensive inputs in agriculture.
- In the Caribbean, the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is investing $11.2 million in 33 grassroots and civil society organizations supporting food security across the Caribbean.
Investments in Civil Society: The IAF is on track to fulfill the commitment it made in Los Angeles to invest approximately $75 million over three years across 300 locally based, community-led organizations to empower local civil society organizations, including underrepresented and underserved populations. In the first year, the IAF has already channeled $26.1 million in new funding to 145 organizations, advancing the priorities of underserved populations to foster inclusive prosperity, build peace and security, and hold their governments accountable to responsiveness and transparency through civic engagement. This investment has benefited more than 3.8 million community members, provided technical assistance to 10,720 micro and small enterprises, formed or strengthened 5,730 strategic partnerships among local institutions, and leveraged local funding for 1,250 grassroots organizations.
Summit Implementation Review Group Commitments: In Los Angeles, the democratically elected leaders of the Americas committed to work together to address pressing issues facing our region: health and resilience, digital transformation, clean energy, environmental sustainability, and democratic governance. As summit host and Chair of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), the United States has worked with those governments to turn plans into action, and fulfill the President’s promise to build a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future for the Americas. Since Los Angeles, the United States has convened ten ad hoc technical group meetings on implementing our shared summit commitments, bringing together hundreds of experts from more than 25 countries and driving toward outcomes. To ensure implementation meets the needs of the people of the Americas, we incorporated youth, the private sector, and civil society stakeholders into the process, convening SIRG meetings and private roundtables to hear their recommendations and ensure that our level of ambition meets the level of the needs of people across our hemisphere.