World Vision US President Statement on Threats to Cut Foreign Aid to Central America

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Holly Frew
Public Relations Manager
hfrew@worldvision.org
m 770.842.6188

April 1, 2019(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Edgar Sandoval, President of World Vision US, made the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to cut US foreign assistance to the countries of the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala).

A few months ago, I was in Honduras and Guatemala, witnessing the impact and infusion of hope that strategic investment can bring for people living in poverty. One farmer in Honduras told me that had he not received help from World Vision’s livelihood project, he would have migrated.

That’s why I am extremely concerned by the President’s decision to cut foreign assistance to Central American countries. Foreign assistance has proven to be a small but crucial investment in the region, boosting the efforts of humanitarian organizations to bring hope to the most vulnerable. This decision will have the opposite of its intended effect, allowing the root causes of migration, such as poverty, violence, and lack of opportunity, to continue driving migrants north, including the children and their families that World Vision has been called to serve. We have worked in Central America for more than four decades, and we remain committed to fighting poverty and seeking fullness of life for all the region’s people as a witness to our Christian faith.

Evidence of the positive impact of foreign assistance can be seen in neighborhoods of El Salvador and Honduras where USAID has the resources to operate: In these communities, the homicide rates have plummeted by 78 percent. Families feel safer and are less likely to migrate. In Guatemala, the USAID-funded Puentes project, implemented by World Vision, empowers youth to take control of their future by equipping them with the information, knowledge, and skills to access opportunities and improve their income. The project aims to reach 25,000 youth with training and life skills. Programs like Puentes are giving young people reasons to stay and build their lives in their home countries.

Congressional members of both parties have recognized the vital role that foreign assistance plays in addressing the root causes of migration in Central America. Hope must be nurtured at the community level. We must continue to make investments in children and their families, working to end violence at its source and providing opportunities that allow children to achieve their God-given potential. We cannot abandon these communities and these children. I strongly encourage the Administration to reconsider its policy, and I urge Congressional leaders to do everything in their power to protect this funding.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.