The United States’ comprehensive Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America involves significant commitments of U.S. government resources to support the long-term development of the region – including efforts to foster inclusive economic opportunity, strengthen governance, combat corruption, and improve security.
Supporting the long-term development of the region will require more than just the resources of the U.S. government. 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. Since then, companies and organizations responding to the Call to Action have committed more than $1.2 billion in investment in the region, with additional commitments made in December 2021. Together, we can work to overcome obstacles to investment, promote economic opportunity, and support long-term development in the region.
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 Department of State looks forward to increased collaboration with private companies—U.S., foreign, and local in Central America and Latin America more broadly—to build upon this Call to Action in the months and years to come. The State Department, in coordination with the Partnership for Central America, manages follow-up on the Call to Action, which involves:
- Connecting 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, Department of Labor, among others; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); multilateral development banks; UN agencies, other international organizations; and relevant government officials from the region to facilitate potential new partnerships and commitments;
- Coordinating private sector stakeholders to ensure sustained progress through strategic and high-impact initiatives aligned to social impact goals, and facilitating joint ventures between new and existing partners across global public, private, and social sectors;
- Offering feedback on potential private sector initiatives, based on an assessment of potential migrants’ needs in the region;
- Working with partner governments and institutions to promote reforms that address impediments to investment and foster a business-enabling environment;
- Establishing metrics to measure the impact of commitments made in response to the Call to Action, to track program effectiveness and identify key trends across key economic and social impact metrics; and
- Convening public forums and facilitating discussions on challenges, trends, and progress toward aspired social impact goals. The Partnership for Central America is a non-profit organization that was developed in support of the Vice President’s Call to Action. The Partnership 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 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 email@example.com. In addition, the Partnership for Central America can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.