Harris announces private investments in Central America

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FILE – Vice President Kamala Harris and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo greet her arrival ceremony in Guatemala City, Sunday, June 6, 2021, at the Central Command of the Guatemalan Air Force. Harris on Monday, December 13, 2021, announces $1.2 billion in international corporate commitments to support the economies and social infrastructure of Central American countries as it works to tackle this what the White House calls the “root causes” of migration to the United States (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday announced $1.2 billion in international corporate commitments to support the economies and social infrastructure of Central American countries as she works to addressing what the White House calls the “root causes” of migration to the United States.

Harris was hired in March by President Joe Biden to fight the social, economic and political forces that are pushing migrants and asylum seekers into the United States, many of whom cross the US-Mexico border illegally.

In May, Harris called on the private sector to invest in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in an effort to improve stability and opportunity in Central American countries. Monday’s announcement builds on that “call to action,” as it announces new commitments and encourages other companies to continue their investment.

Among the new initiatives announced on Monday are a Nespresso effort to support coffee culture in Honduras and El Salvador, a Microsoft initiative to connect millions of people to the internet and a $100 million commitment to the region by Mastercard to promote digital payments and e-Commerce.

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