USA aid to resume for Northern Triangle countries

In a reversal of the Trump Administration’s decision to cease aid flows to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a statement that aid to Northern Triangle countries will resume. Further information detailing the date at which aid will be disbursed and the amount of aid that has been earmarked for the Central American countries has yet to be made public. In 2018, President Donald Trump froze US$450m in aid to the countries of the Northern Triangle, in response to what the President considered insufficient efforts on their behalf to curb illicit migration to the US. The decision had been heavily criticised by Democrat lawmakers, who said that the move would only exacerbate push factors of emigration from Central America. Since the cessation of aid, Central American heads of state and representatives of the Trump Administration met on numerous occasions to establish a regional approach to curb illicit migration. This culminated in the signing of bilateral agreements between the US and El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which would see these countries facilitative asylum applications and resettlement for migrants from other Central American countries. According to reports, it remains unclear how these agreements will be implemented. Regional discussions on strategies to limit migration have also resulted in Mexico committing to nearly US$5m in investment per year to promote employment and economic growth in Northern Triangle countries.

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