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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Foreign Assistance for the Western Hemisphere

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
March 20, 2011


($, thousands)

The United States seeks to promote four interconnected and broadly-shared goals in the hemisphere: expanded economic and social opportunity; citizen safety for all peoples; effective, democratic governance and institutions; and a clean energy future for the hemisphere. U.S. foreign assistance is designed to further these goals, while it also leverages emerging economic opportunities and local strengths, and counters threats to citizen safety that jeopardize the democratic gains of the past decade. We also seek to support humanitarian needs in the hemisphere, including reconstruction in Haiti.

   FY09 Actual*

   FY10 Actual*

   FY12 Request




Peace and Security:

   FY09 Actual

   FY10 Actual

   FY12 Request




Threats from narcotics trafficking and transnational crime, and the need for greater institutional capacity pose the greatest challenges to citizen safety in the Western Hemisphere, particularly for Mexico and Central America. The Merida Initiative, Central America Regional Security Initiative, Colombian Strategic Development Initiative, and Caribbean Basin Security Initiative are partnerships in which governments collaborate with the United States on programs and initiatives, and seek to protect citizens and strengthen the rule of law institutions responsible for citizen safety.

Governing Justly and Democratically:

   FY09 Actual

   FY10 Actual

   FY12 Request




Strengthening democratic governance and institutions and building vibrant civil societies that hold governments accountable are critical requirements to ensuring lasting gains in citizen safety. Merida Initiative assistance for Mexico aims to increase justice sector capacity at the state and local level and to build communities resilient to the impacts of crime and trafficking. CARSI programs address capacity deficits in the region’s administration of justice and support civil society and at-risk populations, particularly youth. CBSI programs support justice-sector reform and anticorruption efforts. In Colombia, U.S. assistance supports the administration of the rule of law, particularly in communities most at risk from trafficking, as well as respect for human rights.

Investing in People:

   FY09 Actual

   FY10 Actual

   FY12 Request




U.S. assistance supports critical education and health programs throughout the hemisphere, particularly for marginalized populations. Programs improve the quality, delivery of, and access to health care, and address the spread of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS. U.S. assistance supports efforts to address the wide range of health challenges facing the region through the Global Health Initiative, target food security through the Feed the Future program, and assist health programs that focus on especially vulnerable populations. U.S. resources also support basic and higher education to foster greater social equity and expand opportunities for all.

Economic Growth:

   FY09 Actual

   FY10 Actual

   FY12 Request




To ensure the benefits of economic growth accrue more equitably, U.S. assistance supports a partnership-based approach that draws upon the region’s strengths and success stories. Environment, energy, and climate programs help ensure growth occurs in a sustainable manner. The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, initiated at the 2009 Summit of the Americas, promotes shared ownership of these challenges among governments in the hemisphere and provide a useful framework for leveraging private sector and other donor support. U.S. assistance will support greater competitiveness and social and economic opportunity to maximize the benefits of shared and open economies, via the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative and existing free trade agreements.

Humanitarian Assistance:

   FY09 Actual

   FY10 Actual

   FY12 Request




In the aftermath of severe earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, governments throughout the region joined together with the United States to provide emergency relief. U.S. assistance continues to provide direct humanitarian relief and support collaborative, regional efforts in order to augment the hemisphere’s ability to mitigate and respond to disasters.

*Note: FY 2009 and 2010 figures include supplemental appropriations.

Further information on U.S. foreign assistance is available at

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