U.S. Strategy for Central America
U.S. Programs and Engagement Promote a Prosperous, Secure, and Well-Governed Central America
“The United States views the security and prosperity of Central America as key to regional stability and to the security of the United States. We affirm our strong relationship with Central America and the region…”
— White House Statement on the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America, June 2017
Central America is at a pivotal point in its history. Compared to the 1980s, the region is relatively free from armed conflict, politically stable, and a strong economic partner, importing over $27 billion in U.S. goods in 2017. However, the region suffers from high rates of violence and crime with weak judicial systems to protect and prosecute those affected. Roughly half of Central America’s people live in poverty.
The U.S. Strategy for Central America (Strategy) is a bipartisan, multi-year U.S. government plan promoting institutional reforms and addressing developmental challenges. The Strategy aims to protect American citizens by addressing the security, governance, and economic drivers of illegal immigration and illicit trafficking, while increasing opportunities for U.S. and other businesses. Read an overview of the Strategy in [297 KB] and in [288 KB].
Read more about the work of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in Central America and programs in , , and .
The Strategy complements the region’s . In 2016-2017, the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Northern Triangle) committed $5.4 billion of their own funds to support the A4P initiative to develop opportunities for their people, improve public safety, enhance access to the legal system, and strengthen institutions. Outside the Northern Triangle, the Strategy supports Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama to address similar challenges.
To accomplish these goals, our approach addresses three overarching lines of action.
U.S. assistance promotes economic growth, energy security, poverty reduction, workforce development, education and training, and greater regional integration that will increase jobs for Central Americans and improve opportunities for U.S. and other businesses.
U.S. programs combat transnational criminal organizations, stem drug trafficking, enhance citizen security, reduce gang violence, strengthen borders, and deter human smuggling and trafficking by focusing on professionalizing police and military institutions, and improving their ability to address these issues on their own.
U.S. assistance supports anti-corruption efforts that improve the ease of doing business, strengthen the rule of law, promote strong institutions and government accountability, reduce impunity, and improve fiscal management by promoting efficient tax collection, civil society engagement, and institutional reform.
Remarks and Releases
10/11/18 Remarks at the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America; Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo; Ben Franklin Room; Washington, DC
Strategy Monitoring and Evaluation Reports