AfP Statement on Cuts to Northern Triangle Assistance

April 1, 2019
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Alliance for Peacebuilding: Cutting Off U.S. Foreign Assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras Will Fuel Further Displacement and Instability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 1, 2019

CONTACT

Laura Strawmyer | 317.340.1085 | laura@allianceforpeacebuilding.org

The Alliance for Peacebuilding expresses deep concern over the proposed immediate cut-off of $500 million in U.S. foreign assistance to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The Alliance opposes this proposal on the basis that it would be counterproductive and have a drastic, negative impact on the violence which is driving people to leave these countries. AfP CEO and President Uzra Zeya added, “Ending this vital assistance will endanger the lives and welfare of millions of innocent civilians, fuel instability and further displacement, and undercut U.S. national security.”

When President Trump announced this decision on March 29, he stated, “When countries abuse us by sending people up — not their best — we’re not going to give any more aid to those countries.” However, these countries are not sending their citizens to the United States; on the contrary, displaced persons from Central America are fleeing violence in their home countries.

The U.S. government correctly analyzed the violent conflict dynamics in these three nations by establishing aid programs that tackle the drivers of displacement, including security, transnational crime, gender-based violence, and the rule of law. Therefore, by halting U.S. assistance to the Northern Triangle, the United States will increase the drivers of conflict in this region, weaken local government and civil society capacity to improve the situation on the ground, and augment the flow of civilians fleeing conflict, violence, and insecurity at home.

Rather than taking punitive and abrupt action to repudiate local partners and shut down programs underway, the United States needs to work with Central American governments and civil society to better target desperately needed programming aimed at reducing violence. Real deterrence requires addressing the drivers of violent conflict at the source and partnering with local actors on the ground, so people can be secure in their home countries without being forced to flee.

As a nonpartisan network working to resolve and end conflict worldwide, the Alliance for Peacebuilding calls upon the U.S. Congress to exercise its full oversight and appropriations authorities to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance is aligned with the American national interests and values.

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About the Alliance for Peacebuilding

The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) is the leading global network for organizations working to end conflict and build sustainable peace worldwide. Our 100-plus members include some of the world’s largest development organizations, most innovative academic institutions, and the most powerful peacebuilding groups. We bring together coalitions in key areas of strategy and policy to elevate the entire peacebuilding field, tackling issues too large for any one organization to address alone.

You can find out more about the Alliance for Peacebuilding on their website: allianceforpeacebuilding.org.