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Diplomacy in Action

The United States and Brazil: Trilateral Cooperation

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
April 9, 2012


The United States and Brazil have developed a record of effective partnership in jointly delivering development assistance to maximize resources. Under the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Implementation of Technical Cooperation Activities in Third Countries, we have collaborated successfully on dynamic initiatives in countries that face serious poverty challenges, particularly in Africa and Latin America.

Current initiatives improve health and food security in Africa, combat and prevent child labor in Haiti, partner with Bolivia on counternarcotics cooperation, and promote biofuels in Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. The United States and Brazil are exploring new trilateral cooperation initiatives, including programs to combat AIDS in Mozambique, promote domestic resource mobilization in partner countries, expand biofuels cooperation in Africa and Asia, as well as joint projects in Central America and the Caribbean under the Feed the Future program. We are also exploring additional trilateral cooperative projects on labor and employment issues under an MOU to advance “decent work.”

Examples of U.S.-Brazil trilateral assistance programs include:

  • Cooperation in Food Security: Brazil is a Feed the Future Strategic Partner country and a leader in the region on food security issues. The United States and Brazil have developed a MOU on food security cooperation in third countries.
    • In Mozambique, USAID and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) help farmers increase the productivity of their vegetable crops and to improve post-harvest packing, storage, and processing of produce. USAID Mozambique and Brazil’s agricultural research corporation, EMBRAPA, funded the development of the Mozambique Platform for Agricultural Research and Technology Innovation (PARTI), which brings the expertise of agricultural research centers around the world to work on specific problems in Mozambique.
    • The United States and Brazil are commencing new trilateral cooperation to improve food security in Haiti. The three governments will work to increase agricultural yield and farmers’ incomes, and to improve nutrition for rural farmers.
  • Combating HIV/AIDS: Under the auspices of the Department of State’s Global AIDS Coordinator, negotiations are proceeding on an MOU on HIV/AIDS cooperation in Mozambique. Programs would include monitoring and evaluation, civil society strengthening, communication activities aimed at changing public perceptions, and improving the supply chain of AIDS drugs.
  • Combating Child and Forced Labor: As part of the State of Bahia’s decent work strategy, the United States is assisting Bahia to become the first state in Brazil free of child labor. The Department of Labor and the Government of Brazil provide complementary funding to combat child labor in several South American countries, including Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay, and in Lusophone Africa. The United States has also funded programs to support law enforcement and to provide assistance to workers rescued from forced labor in Brazil. An initiative on decent work supports the International Labor Organization/International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO/IPEC) project to combat child labor in Haiti. .
  • Biofuels Cooperation: Under the 2007 U.S.-Brazil MOU on Biofuels, the United States and Brazil have agreed to engage in third-party cooperation with member countries El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Senegal. Through independent projects focused on the same goal, Brazil has created high-level, detailed feasibility studies for biofuels implementation in the member countries. The United States has contributed through targeted projects, including technical support for the development of biofuels blending legislation in El Salvador, pilot validation studies to test ethanol blends in Guatemala and El Salvador, and a pilot bioethanol plant in Honduras.
  • Environment and Conservation: The United States and Brazil have informal trilateral cooperative arrangements regarding forest conservation. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), through collaboration with USAID, is working with the Brazilian Forest Service (SFB), the Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio), and the Brazilian Environment Institute (IBAMA) to share expertise and experiences with the Government of Peru’s Forest Sector Initiative. USFS, USAID, SFB, ICMBio, and IBAMA have provided technical expertise in areas such as national forest inventory, sustainable forest management, and forest monitoring and timber tracking.
  • Counternarcotics Cooperation: In January 2012, Bolivia, Brazil, and the United States agreed to a one-year pilot program to improve Bolivia’s ability to measure excess coca cultivation and verify progress in meeting coca eradication targets. As part of the project, the United States will provide global positioning equipment and Brazil will provide satellite imagery and technical training.

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