Washington, Apr 27 (EFE).- The United States will grant $310 million in aid to “meet the immediate needs” of migrants, refugees and displaced people in Central America, in an attempt to contain an influx of arrivals at its southern border, the state department announced Tuesday.
The aid promised by Vice President Kamala Harris will be distributed during a virtual meeting on Monday with Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei and is part of her plan to tackle the root causes of migration to the US, a mission commissioned by President Joe Biden in March.
“Our humanitarian assistance will meet the immediate needs of people forced to flee their homes in pursuit of safety, including refugees and other displaced people, and vulnerable migrants in Central America and third countries in the region,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
The funds will “support shelter and other safe spaces, work to reunite families, [and] promote migrant and refugee integration into host communities,” Blinken said.
In addition, they will serve to support migrant access to health care, psychosocial support and legal services, and will help communities prevent and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The aid will also “strengthen national asylum systems and other protection efforts in the region” and promote opportunities for migrants and displaced persons both in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala as well as in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Belize, Blinken said.
The US has pressured Mexico and Guatemala to reinforce security at their respective borders and contain the passage of undocumented migrants to the north, and now seeks to improve the infrastructure in those countries in order to prevent so many from arriving at the US-Mexico border.
Of the $310 million announced, $104 million will come from the State Department, another $125 million from the US Agency for International Development, another $26 million will come from the Pentagon and the remaining $55 million from the Department of Agriculture, Blinken said. EFE