U.S. Senator Kamala Harris launches her campaign for President of the United States at a rally at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in her hometown of Oakland, California, U.S., January 27, 2019. (Shutterstock)
In her role overseeing diplomatic efforts within El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (the “Northern Triangle”), and with Mexico, Vice President Kamala Harris announced on May 27 a Call to Action for businesses and social enterprises to make new, significant commitments to help send a signal of hope to the people of the region and sustainably address the root causes of migration by promoting economic opportunity. As part of this Call to Action launch, 12 companies and organizations announced commitments to support inclusive economic development in the Northern Triangle, including: Accion, Bancolombia, Chobani, Davivienda, Duolingo, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Mastercard, Microsoft, Nespresso, Pro Mujer, the Tent Partnership for Refugees, and the World Economic Forum.
Our comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of migration will involve significant commitments of U.S. government resources to support the long-term development of the region—including efforts to foster economic opportunity, strengthen governance, combat corruption, and improve security. This approach will leverage commitments and resources from the governments in the Northern Triangle, as well as partnerships with multilateral development banks and international financial institutions.
Supporting the long-term development of the region, and in the Western Hemisphere more broadly, will require more than just the resources of the U.S. government. For this reason, Vice President Harris is calling on the private sector to draw on its unique resources and expertise to make commitments to support inclusive economic growth in the Northern Triangle. Together, we can work to overcome obstacles to investment, promote economic opportunity, and support long-term development in the region. The Administration looks forward to increased collaboration with private companies—U.S., foreign, and local in the Northern Triangle and Latin America more broadly—to build upon this Call to Action in the months and years to come.
U.S. Government Long-Term Commitments and Call to Action Focus Areas
This Call to Action is one component under the U.S. government’s comprehensive, long-term strategy to address barriers to investment and to promote economic opportunity in the Northern Triangle. Just as government action alone will not be enough to achieve meaningful outcomes, private sector commitments will be facilitated and supported by strong U.S. government initiatives to address longstanding impediments to investment-led growth. Under our broader strategy, near-term private sector commitments will be mutually reinforced by sustained U.S. government efforts to foster a business-enabling environment, increased private sector investment, and sustainable economic growth and opportunity. As part of the broader strategy, this Call to Action aims to generate new commitments from businesses and social enterprises in six focus areas with an emphasis on supporting vulnerable populations, including women and youth, in the Northern Triangle region. These focus areas include:
- 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 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 of a vision of hope for Central America.
The Administration and the Partnership welcome additional commitments to join this initiative and promote economic opportunity in the Northern Triangle. 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 support @centampartnership.org.