Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are challenged by violence, corruption, and limited economic growth, which are driving irregular migration from these countries to the United States. In addition, all three are located in what’s known as the “dry corridor,” a tropical arid forest region on the Pacific Coast of Central America that is extremely vulnerable to climate change and last November,
Guatemala and Honduras were hit by two back-to-back powerful hurricanes, Eta and Iota. These events contributed to catastrophic losses for millions of families and devastation in the agricultural sector, particularly in small-scale and subsistence farming, dramatically increasing food insecurity.
USAID is providing approximately $112 million in life-saving humanitarian aid for emergency food assistance, nutrition services, safe drinking water, shelter, income-generation programs and disaster risk reduction efforts across the three countries. In addition, between Fiscal Years 2018 and 2020, the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provided $248 million in humanitarian assistance for the Mexico and Central America response to address the needs of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, or IDPs, and vulnerable migrants, including to respond to COVID-19 in fiscal year 2020. Of this, nearly $85 million supports activities in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
In addition, USAID has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, to the region. This elite team of experts will assess damage, identify priority needs, coordinate with partners and local officials, and provide urgently needed aid to crisis-affected families and communities in these countries.
The humanitarian assistance provided by the United States government, through USAID and the State Department, is in addition to robust, long-term U.S. development programs in the region. Such programs are designed to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement within El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. As part of these programs, USAID works with governments, civil society and the private sector in the region to enhance economic opportunities, strengthen governance and security, and build greater resilience to climate change.
Helping those in need is a core American value, and the United States remains committed to helping the people of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador improve conditions so that they can confidently build their lives at home.