Multi-million dollar aid package for Latin America and the Caribbean

LOS ANGELES – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Canadian Government have announced multi-million-dollar aid for Latin America and the Caribbean.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced about US$331 million in humanitarian and long-term development assistance to address food security and resilience in the region.

At the same time, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced over CAN$145 million.

“Food insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean is increasing after more than a year of inflationary pressures, rising energy and fuel prices, disruptions from the global pandemic, the ongoing impacts of climate change and extreme weather, and the impact of the war in Ukraine,” said Power at an event on the sidelines of the just-concluded Ninth Summit of the Americas.

“Countries that rely significantly on imports for food are particularly vulnerable to rising food costs, and many in the region are experiencing the highest rates of inflation and increases in food prices in more than ten years.

“Meanwhile, the region is highly exposed to disruptions in global fertilizer supply due to shortages and bans imposed by Russia, which, historically, has provided the majority of the region’s fertilizer,” she added.

Power said the US$331 million funding includes more than US$198 million of emergency food security programming and related assistance such as nutrition, health, protection, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene interventions to provide “a holistic response.”

To address medium to long-term term food security and resilience measures in the region, she said more than US$132 million in Feed the Future funds, subject to US Congressional approval, will go towards resources that aim to help smallholder farmers in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Peru improve productivity of high-value horticulture crops, increase incomes and bolster farmers’ capacity to withstand shocks like higher fertilizer prices and impacts of climate change.

Trudeau said on Friday that over CAN$145 million across the hemisphere will provide support in the following priority areas: CAN$67.9 million to promote gender equality; CAN$26.9 million to address irregular migration and forced displacement; CAN$31.5 million to support health and pandemic response; CAN$17.3 million for projects supporting democratic governance; and CAN$1.6 million to promote digital access and address disinformation.

The Canadian prime minister said CAN$1 million will support the production and dissemination of high-impact research that addresses inequalities faced by women and diverse populations.

He said these populations include Indigenous Peoples, African descendants, persons with disabilities, and LGBTI persons in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The project will be implemented through the Gender and Diversity Lab and the Gender and Diversity Knowledge Initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. (CMC)

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