Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affair
New York, New York
September 7, 2021
Thank you Ramesh and OCHA for convening this briefing today.
I want to start by congratulating El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the United Nations and NGOs for coming together over the last few months to develop these urgently needed Humanitarian Response Plans, or HRPs.
These three HRPs detail how COVID-19, climate change, irregular migration, and the lingering effects of catastrophic hurricanes Eta and Iota are impacting the region.
There is no question the humanitarian situation is dire with an estimated 8.3 million requiring assistance.
These HRPs are an essential resource for donors who want to support this international response and ensure basic needs are met.
It provides a road map for priority actions and corresponding funding levels.
In April, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield convened a Member State briefing with OCHA to raise awareness about how urgently humanitarian needs must be addressed in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
We were touched by the solidarity shown through that event – in our region with our partners from Mexico and Canada, as well as across the globe.
Since then, Vice President Harris has announced that the United States will provide $310 million in assistance to these three countries.
Of that funding, the U.S Agency for International Development has successfully programmed over $125 million in new funds that ensure lifesaving assistance reaches vulnerable households and communities.
It also targets programs focused on building resiliency to future shocks.
Through our U.S Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), we are working with international partners to support the national action plans of Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS) countries – Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama.
The funding announced by Vice President Harris will strengthen national asylum systems and other government protection capacities, including child protection and gender-based violence prevention and response mechanisms.
It will also promote opportunities for displaced people to integrate and find solutions in communities across the region.
The United States is urging the international community to join our efforts in giving vulnerable people in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras the assistance they need and hope for the future.
Collectively, we can respond to these crises and ensure a resilient future for the region.