U.S. Overseas Help to Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala is essentially the most populated nation in Central America, and 51 p.c of its inhabitants lives in poverty. Moreover, half of all youngsters underneath the age of 5 in Guatemala are malnourished. Poverty, malnutrition, violence and insecurity are all major motivating components for migration to the U.S. from Guatemala.

USAID gives $257 million in overseas help packages to Guatemala, the overwhelming majority of which works to particular tasks that tackle the basis causes of migration drivers. U.S. overseas help to Guatemala not solely helps impoverished Guatemalans, but it surely is also aids in home nationwide safety efforts.

In April 2019, The Trump administration proposed slicing overseas assist to Guatemala. Meals, safety and training are are the constructing blocks to assuaging poverty. Addressing these human wants permits the impoverished to interrupt the cycle.

Feed the Future

Entry to ample meals and diet is a basic human proper. In Guatemala, this proper has been challenged by extended drought inflicting important hurt to harvests. Feed the Future is a U.S. authorities funded undertaking that goals to assist small farmers by rising their earnings and diet. It accomplishes this via enhancing market entry and offering coaching on productive agricultural and climate-smart practices.

Recognizing the potential for improved agricultural manufacturing in Guatemala, Feed the Future aids impoverished Guatemalans in these methods:

  • Serving to small farmers earn $24 million in new earnings in 2016
  • Aiding 230,000 extra youngsters underneath the age of 5 meet ample diet wants
  • Reaching 15 p.c discount in poverty charges the place Feed the Future packages have been prevalent

Safety in Guatemala

Surveys have proven that greater than 60 p.c of Guatemalans see insecurity as essentially the most urgent problem within the nation. The murder charges in Guatemala stay excessive at 34 deaths per 100,000 residents, and one-third of all households are victims of crime every year. USAID has labored with tasks like Tetra Tech’s Guatemala City Municipal Governance Undertaking which goals to scale back ranges of violence in at-risk communities. These efforts work in cooperation with communities to get residents actively concerned within the decision-making processes inside their municipality in addition to enhancing monetary budgeting and residing circumstances. Efforts by USAID and collaborating packages have decreased violence in Guatemala:

  • Robberies declined by 18 p.c
  • Unlawful drug gross sales decreased by 50 p.c
  • Extortion and blackmail charges declined by 50 p.c


Schooling is a key think about decreasing world poverty. College enrollment and completion charges in Guatemala, whereas on the rise, are low. Solely 40 p.c of youngsters are enrolled in center college (7 – ninth grade). Federally funded packages just like the Puentes Undertaking goal to create academic alternatives for Guatemalan youth that determine native wants and promote sustainable jobs. With the main target of enhancing studying expertise throughout the board, USAID efforts through the Puentes Undertaking embrace working with households, academics and the Guatemalan authorities. Present academic efforts by USAID have resulted in:

Total, it is a small pattern of the packages funded by U.S. overseas help to Guatemala. The Trump administration’s issues about nationwide safety and unlawful immigration doesn’t align with the proposed price range reduce offering help to Guatemala. Federal assist to impoverished international locations improves home nationwide safety as people trapped within the cycle of poverty could also be motivated to affix violent radical teams. Former Homeland Safety Secretary Tom Ridge is quoted saying, “The packages supported by the Worldwide Affairs Finances are as important to our nationwide safety as protection packages. Improvement and diplomacy shield our nation by addressing the basis causes of terrorism and battle.”

Tasks made potential by U.S. overseas help to Guatemala allow optimistic change to be made to eradicate poverty and enhance nationwide safety within the course of.

How you can Assist

The Borgen Undertaking is preventing to oppose the proposed cuts to U.S. overseas help to Guatemala. The packages mentioned above are essential for each creating stability in Guatemala and addressing the basis causes of migration to the U.S. In an effort to shield these packages, please name or electronic mail your congressional leaders.

-Amy Dickens
Picture: Flickr

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