- U.S. Foreign Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean: FY2018 Appropriations
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues in the 115th Congress
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Authors Meyer, Peter J. Specialist in Latin American Affairs. Publisher Library of Congress.
U.S. Foreign Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean: FY2018 Appropriations
Congressional Research Service. Place of Publication: Washington D. About Browse this Partner. What Descriptive information to help identify this report. Foreign relations -- U. Language English. The IAF is active in 20 countries in the region—including eight countries in which USAID no longer has a presence—and has focused particularly on migrant-sending communities in Central America since Table 3.
The trust fund is diminishing as the loans reach the end of their repayment periods. The act followed five short-term continuing resolutions P. Neither bill was enacted, however, as Congress ultimately merged foreign aid appropriations into the larger omnibus legislation. It is currently unclear how much assistance will be provided to Latin America and the Caribbean, since the legislation and the accompanying explanatory statement do not specify aid levels for every country.
Nevertheless, the amounts designated in the act for several significant initiatives indicate that total funding for the region will exceed the Administration's request and may approach FY levels see Table 4. Table 4. FY H. FY S. FY P. Central America. The additional aid is intended to combat the production and trafficking of heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids into the United States. This is the same amount that was appropriated for such programs in FY The Administration did not request any funding for democracy promotion in Cuba in FY The Administration did not request any funding for democracy programs in Venezuela in FY I nter-American Foundation.
Strategy for Engagement in Central America. The Trump Administration's desire to scale back U. In particular, it could accelerate U. Moreover, the Administration's proposed foreign assistance cuts, combined with other policy shifts, could contribute to a relative decline in U. Over the past three decades, many Latin American and Caribbean countries have made major strides in consolidating democratic governance and improving living conditions for their citizens. As nations have achieved more advanced levels of development, the U. Budget cuts often have accelerated this process by forcing U.
Similarly, budget cuts in the aftermath of the U. The Trump Administration's desire to reduce foreign assistance funding could contribute to a new round of aid transitions. The FY budget request would have zeroed out traditional development assistance for Brazil, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Paraguay and would have reduced it significantly for several other countries in the region. Although many of those assistance cuts were not enacted in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, , it appears as though the Administration may push for further cuts in the coming years.
The Administration's National Security Strategy, released in December , asserts that the United States "will shift away from a reliance on assistance based on grants to approaches that attract private capital and catalyze private sector activity. Some development experts caution that such transitions should be done in a strategic manner to ensure that partner countries are able to sustain the progress that has been made with past U.
These experts argue that successful transitions require careful planning and close coordination across the U. In their view, a timeline of three to five years, at a minimum, is necessary for the transition process. A decision to no longer appropriate new foreign aid funds for a given country would not necessarily lead to an abrupt end to ongoing U.
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In recent years, Congress has appropriated most aid for Latin America and the Caribbean through foreign assistance accounts that provide the State Department and USAID with up to two fiscal years to obligate the funds and an additional four years to expend them. If aid transitions do occur, the United States could remain engaged with its partners in the region in several ways. As large-scale development programs are closed out, the U.
As grant assistance is withdrawn, the U.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues in the 115th Congress
Trade and Development Agency. Congress has demonstrated an interest in influencing the pace and shape of aid transitions. For example, in May , then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the FY foreign assistance request for the region as a "comprehensive effort The proposed reduction in security assistance was partially due to the Trump Administration's intention to discontinue FMF grants and instead offer loans to Latin American and Caribbean nations to purchase U.
The Administration asserted that "loans provide an opportunity for the U. Some analysts have noted that any cuts to State Department-managed security assistance programs in Latin America and the Caribbean could be offset by increased support from DOD. Given the number of security challenges the United States faces around the globe, however, it is unclear whether DOD would devote increased funding to security cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean. DOD currently does not publish information on the total amount of funding it has allocated, or intends to allocate, to security cooperation activities in the region.
As a result of a provision 10 U. These budget requests could provide Congress with a better understanding of the scope of DOD security cooperation activities in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the extent to which those activities overlap with the State Department's security assistance programs. They also could provide Congress with greater control over the relative balance between security and non-security assistance to the region. In future years, Congress could place conditions on security cooperation funds that DOD requests for specific nations in the same way it currently places conditions on State Department-managed security assistance, potentially enhancing Congress's ability to incentivize policy changes in recipient countries.
Although the relative importance of foreign aid in U. In recent years, U. This assistance has enabled the U. Some analysts contend that steep foreign assistance cuts, like those proposed in FY, would "handicap the growth and stability of some of the U. In Central America, budgetary dependence on U. In the view of some observers, the Administration's efforts to cut foreign aid are part of a broader trend of U. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, Since then, more than , Americans have served in host countries around the world.
Who serves as Peace Corps Volunteers? Peace Corps Volunteers are committed Americans from all walks of life who spend 27 months living and working in developing countries around the world. What do Peace Corps Volunteers do? Peace Corps Volunteers fill a wide variety of positions around the world. The type of work a Volunteer does is ultimately determined by the needs of a host country and the potential of a Volunteer to contribute to those needs and to the Peace Corps' mission. Some examples of sectors where many Volunteers work include education, health, community economic development, environment, agriculture and youth in development.
Where do Peace Corps Volunteers serve? Peace Corps Volunteers serve in countries around the world. Where can I learn more about becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer? There, you can learn about where Volunteers serve, what kind of work they do, and how to apply. You can also reach a local recruiter directly by calling toll-free Does Peace Corps accept donations? A negative obligation represents a downward adjustment to an obligation made in a prior period.
A negative disbursement is usually a refund. Why does Peace Corps not provide data by sector? Peace Corps volunteer work is diverse and responsive to host country needs at the community level. Because of the cross sector nature of volunteer activities, the agency has not mapped its financial information below the category level. All Peace Corps data presented on ForeignAssistance.
Obligation and spending by category is estimated by mapping volunteer population levels with financial data. Spending is the aggregate of all transactions for all relevant appropriations and fund years within the Standard General Ledger account, Delivered Orders - Obligations, Paid. Inter-American Foundation. Six members of the board are drawn from the private sector and three from the federal government.
Congress appropriates funds annually for the Inter-American Foundation. The IAF accepts donations and partners with other public and private institutions to fund grassroots development initiatives in the region. How does the IAF serve U. How does the IAF complement broader U. What is grassroots development? This concept is based on the premise that the key to sustainable democracies, equitable societies and prosperous economies is a people-oriented strategy that stresses participation, organizational development and networking.
What does the IAF look for in a project it funds? How does the IAF measure the results of its investments? The IAF holds all grantee partners accountable for the responsible use of U. This measures tangible and intangible results at three levels: for individuals and families, for organizations, and for the community or society at large. Before the project begins, IAF grantee partners select from a menu of 41 indicators and report on their progress twice a year. Independent consultant professionals visit project sites and verify the data. Grantee partners are audited annually.
Upon completion of each grant, the IAF conducts a close-out visit, independently evaluates the project and reviews the lessons gleaned from the experience. Five years after completion, a subset of projects is selected for an ex-post evaluation of their lasting impact on the communities. The IAF returns to project sites to meet with former grantee partners, interview beneficiaries, and collect and analyze data on the same indicators as were registered as baseline data before and during IAF funding. How can the IAF do so much with so little? Department of Agriculture.
The United States Department of Agriculture USDA is a Federal agency whose mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. But through its work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and a host of issues, USDA still fulfills Lincoln's vision - touching the lives of every American, every day. What are the mission areas and agencies within USDA and their roles in foreign assistance?
Further descriptions of the mission areas related to foreign assistance activities and the nine USDA agencies that implement the foreign assistance activities follow below. Natural Resources and Environment ensures the health of the land through sustainable management. USDA agencies under this mission area work to prevent damage to natural resources and the environment, restore the resource base, and promote good land management.
The Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services mission area helps to keep America's farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets. They deliver commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance programs that help improve the stability and strength of the agricultural economy. In addition to its Washington, D. FAS staff identify problems, provide practical solutions, and work to advance opportunities for U.
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Research, Education, and Economics is dedicated to the creation of a safe, sustainable, competitive U. This mission area is also focused on harnessing technologies to improve global food production and food supply monitoring worldwide. MRP agencies are active participants in setting national and international standards. In recent years, the scope of APHIS' protection function has expanded beyond pest and disease management.
Because of its technical expertise and leadership in assessing and regulating the risks associated with agricultural imports, APHIS has assumed a greater role in the global agricultural arena. To reduce the threat to U. It plays a major role in ensuring that U.
IS also represents the U. More information on IS can be found here. ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination. More information on ARS can be found here. Its mission is to enhance the productivity, effectiveness, and impact of the ARS National Programs through mutually beneficial international research and development collaborations in agriculture and natural resources science. Research Internships for Early Career South African Agricultural Scientists is an ARS project that aims to provide, through work experience, cooperative research, and scientific and technology exchange, methodologies useful for solving technical problems within the South African agricultural context and to enhance or establish income-generating opportunities in rural communities.
ARS also has many international research projects. More information can be found here. Established in , the Forest Service FS manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. More information on FS can be found here. It promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation internationally. FS International Programs partners with many types of organizations, large and small, private and public, on a wide range of technical cooperation and policy development issues.
It provides technical skills by tapping the expertise of a large number of FS researchers, foresters, wildlife biologists, hydrologists, policymakers, and other specialists. To address aspects of physical, social, and economic issues in managing tropical forests, the IITF has more than 60 years of experience in interdisciplinary research.
The Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry IPIF has grown to become a center of research and technology transfer on matters of the management, preservation, and restoration of natural ecosystems and landscapes throughout the Pacific. The Institute's work is conducted by a unique structure of teams that include both scientists funded by FS research and professionals funded through State and Private Forestry and International Forestry. More information on FAS can be found here. Over 3, reports submitted per year, GAIN provides timely information on the agricultural economy, products, and issues in foreign countries.
Crop Explorer is an FAS tool that offers global food supply monitoring by region or crop via satellite imagery. Other FAS foreign assistance awards will be reported in the future. NIFA works with the best and brightest scientists at universities and colleges throughout the United States and around the world to find innovative solutions to issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities.
With a timely, integrated approach and collaboration with other Federal science agencies, NIFA also serves as a vital contributor to Federal science policy decision-making. More information on NIFA can be found here. National Initiative to Internationalize Extension. The initiative hopes to bring attention to the urgent need for engagement with American audiences around global issues, interdependence, and the critical role that extension can play in today's world.
The ISE Competitive Grants Program supports research, extension, and teaching activities that will enhance the capabilities of American colleges and universities to conduct international collaborative research, extension, and teaching. Competitive Programs. The NIFA Competitive Programs Unit manages funding opportunities that challenge the Nation's top researchers to identify, solve, and put into practice solutions to problems that improve the safety, quality, productivity, and security of our food supply and the well-being of animals, humans, the environment and natural resources, and rural and urban communities.
This AFRI Challenge Area promotes and enhances the scientific discipline of food safety, with an overall aim of protecting consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption. This requires an understanding of the interdependencies of human, animal, and ecosystem health as it pertains to food-borne pathogens. Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Health and Human Services HHS is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
HHS is headed by the Secretary who is the chief managing officer for our family of agencies, including 11 operating divisions, 10 regional offices, as well as the Office of the Secretary. The mission of HHS is to help provide the building blocks that Americans need to live healthy, successful lives. What is the organizational structure of HHS? HHS is composed of 11 operating divisions and offices within the Office of the Secretary. What role does HHS play in foreign assistance?
HHS is primarily a domestic organization. With the growing interconnectedness throughout the world, HHS has begun to play more of a role in global health security and ensuring the safety of Americans. CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. CDC increases the health security of our nation. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.
How many CDC staff work in the field abroad? Department of Labor. What does the Department of Labor do? The Department of Labor DOL fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.
In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee worker rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support. ILAB conducts research on and formulates international economic, trade, immigration, and labor policies in collaboration with other U.
ILAB is working together with other U. What types of technical cooperation programming does ILAB provide? Technical cooperation projects range from targeted action programs in specific sectors of work to more comprehensive programs that support national efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor as defined by International Labour Organization ILO Convention Project goals include adopting or reforming labor laws or standards, improving labor inspectorates' enforcement capacity, increasing awareness of fundamental labor rights, and improving occupational safety and health conditions.
ILAB also provides technical advice and other support to labor ministries through workshops and exchange programs. Department of Justice. What is the Department of Justice? The mission of the Department of Justice DOJ is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
When was the Department of Justice Created? The Department of Justice, often referred to as the largest law office in the world, began in with a staff of two: the Attorney General and a clerk. Officially coming into existence on July 1, , the Department of Justice was created to handle all criminal prosecutions and civil suits in which the United States had an interest.
What is the organizational structure of DOJ? Led by the Attorney General, the Department of Justice DOJ is comprised of approximately 40 components that have a broad array of national security, law enforcement, and criminal justice system responsibilities. Marshals Service and U. The Department also has field offices in all states and territories and maintains offices in over countries worldwide.
What role does DOJ play in foreign assistance? DOJ does not receive any appropriations specifically for foreign assistance However, DOJ does conduct a wide range of international activities in support of our mission, and a small portion of these can be considered as foreign assistance. To assist our partners around the world, the Department works with foreign governments to develop professional and transparent law enforcement institutions that protect human rights, combat corruption, and reduce the threat of transnational crime and terrorism.
The Department provides assistance through planning, advising, mentoring, capacity building, and partnering. In addition, the Department provides significant levels of training for our foreign counterparts including training for foreign police agencies at the DEA and FBI training facilities in Quantico, Virginia and providing training on-site in the host countries on a range of issues from intelligence analysis and counterterrorism investigations to white collar crime and organized crime.
ICITAP works with foreign governments to develop professional and transparent law enforcement institutions that protect human rights, combat corruption, and reduce the threat of transnational crime and terrorism. ICITAP provides international development assistance that supports both national security and foreign policy objectives. OPDAT assists prosecutors and judicial personnel in other countries to develop and sustain effective criminal justice institutions. Its mission includes, but is not limited to, facilitating international police cooperation; transmitting information of a criminal justice, humanitarian and other law enforcement-related nature between U.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. Although it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers, OPIC is appropriated administrative funding, and reauthorized on a regular basis, by the U.
OPIC supports U. OPIC helps U. Investment Funds: OPIC provides support for the creation of privately owned and managed investment funds. These funds make direct equity and equity-related investments in new, expanding or privatizing emerging market companies. OPIC-supported funds help emerging market economies to access long-term growth capital, management skills, and financial expertise, all of which are key factors in expanding economic development for people in developing nations.
Who can qualify for OPIC support? OPIC requires that its projects have a meaningful connection to the U.
Latin America and the Caribbean « Full Text Reports…
For financing, this means a U. OPIC does not support projects that will negatively affect the U. For more information on requirements for political risk insurance and investment funds, visit www. American small businesses are an OPIC priority, comprising on average 80 percent of projects supported by the agency annually.
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While the eligible U. OPIC has conducted more than a dozen small business workshops around the United States since , educating nearly business owners about OPIC products and services. What standards are OPIC-supported projects expected to meet? OPIC projects must meet Congressionally-mandated requirements regarding protection of the environment, social impacts, health, and safety.
The guidelines and procedures are based in large part on environmental and social impact assessment procedures applied by organizations such as the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the U. Export Import Bank.