The United States’ comprehensive Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America involves significant commitments of U.S. resources to support the region’s long-term development. We work to foster inclusive economic opportunity, strengthen governance, combat corruption, and improve security.
Supporting the long-term development of Central America requires far more than governmental resources. For this reason, in May 2021 Vice President Harris called on the private sector to draw on its unique resources and expertise to make commitments to support inclusive economic growth in Northern Central America through the Call to Action. To build on the momentum generated under this successful initiative, Vice President Harris and the Partnership for Central America launched the next chapter in February 2023 by announcing “Central America Forward.” Consistent with the broader goals of the U.S. Strategy to Address the Root Causes of Migration, the Central America Forward framework goes beyond addressing the economic drivers of migration. It incorporates a focus on good governance and labor rights into this public-private partnership, essential priorities under the Root Causes Strategy to ensure the success of our private sector partners.
Companies and organizations within Central America Forward have committed more than $4.2 billion in investment in the region as of February 2023. Together, we can work to overcome obstacles to investment, promote economic opportunity, and foster an environment where rule of law and decent work opportunities flourish.
Organizations Within Central America Forward
The Call to Action has six core focus areas to advance economic opportunity in a sustainable, equitable manner:
- Reform Agenda – Commitments to support greater transparency, predictability, and stability in the business enabling environment by facilitating regional government efforts to adopt international best practices in licensing, permitting, procurement, regulation, and taxation.
- Digital and Financial Inclusion – Commitments to expand affordable internet access and participation in the digital economy; facilitate access to financial technologies and capital for small businesses, particularly women- and indigenous-owned businesses; and ensure that the most vulnerable and the most likely to migrate have access to basic public services and financial institutions.
- Food Security and Climate-smart Agriculture – Commitments to combat food shortages by increasing agricultural productivity and crop resilience.
- Climate Adaptation and Clean Energy – Commitments to support the region’s resilience to climate change through adaptation and mitigation efforts; support industries impacted by climate change; and transition to clean energy.
- Education and Workforce Development – Commitments to expand job-training programs; support greater access to technical and secondary education; and create higher paying formal sector jobs, especially for women and in rural areas.
- Public Health Access – Commitments to support regional governments in addressing the impact of COVID-19 on their populations; build robust and resilient health economies to confront future health challenges; support access to clean water and sanitation; and ensure inclusive access to healthcare.
The State Department’s Role
The U.S. government is increasing collaboration with private companies across the United States, Central America, and globally to advance Central America Forward. In coordination with the Partnership for Central America, the U.S. State Department manages follow-up to Central America Forward to:
- Connect businesses with relevant U.S. interagency partners, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Department of Commerce, and Department of Labor; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); multilateral development banks; UN agencies; other international organizations; and relevant government officials from the region to facilitate potential new partnerships and commitments.
- Coordinate private sector stakeholders to ensure sustained progress through strategic and high-impact initiatives aligned to social impact goals and facilitate joint ventures between new and existing partners across global public, private, and social sectors.
- Offer feedback on potential private sector initiatives based on assessments of potential migrants’ needs at home.
- Work with partner governments and institutions to promote reforms that address impediments to investment and that foster a business-enabling environment.
- Establish metrics to measure the impact of commitments made in response to Central America Forward, to track program effectiveness, and to identify key economic and social trends.
The Partnership for Central America is a non-profit organization developed in support of Central America Forward. The Partnership for Central America aims to coordinate practical solutions to advance economic opportunity; address urgent climate, education, and health challenges; and promote long-term investments and workforce capability in support a vision of hope for Central America.
The Administration and the Partnership for Central America welcome additional commitments in response to this initiative to promote economic opportunity in Northern Central America. Vice President Harris invites interested parties to get involved by contacting the State Department Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Partnership for Central America can be reached at email@example.com.