Catholic Relief Services (CRS) applauds the initiative of five U.S. House members who asked the comptroller general to investigate “whether U.S. assistance in Central America is being focused on areas with the greatest numbers of children and families fleeing.” CRS believes that, to achieve maximum effectiveness, aid must be continuous, co-located, and simultaneous in key areas of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Also known as the Northern Triangle, unaccompanied children from these three countries represent more than 70 percent of those arriving at the U.S. border.
“Children would not be risking their lives, fleeing their communities alone, if they didn’t feel it was their only way out of fear and extreme poverty,” said Bill O’Keefe, vice president of government relations at Catholic Relief Services. “In order to come up with long-lasting solutions, we must first understand their reality.”
In a letter to the comptroller general, Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Joaquín Castro (D-TX) called for a Government Accountability Office review of U.S. efforts to promote development, rule of law and violence prevention in Central America.
“As the United States continues to provide foreign assistance to our Central American partners to address root causes of the recent migration pattern, we want to ensure that funding is reaching the communities from which children are migrating or are likely to migrate in the future,” said Rep. Engel in a statement.
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