Harris announces private investments in Central America

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Kamala Harris, Pedro Brolo

FILE – Vice President Kamala Harris and Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pedro Brolo wave at her arrival ceremony in Guatemala City, Sunday, June 6, 2021, at Guatemalan Air Force Central Command. Harris on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, is announcing $1.2 billion in commitments from international businesses to support the economies and social infrastructure of Central American nations, as she works to address what the White House terms the “root causes” of migration to the U.S. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

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

Harris was tapped in March by President Joe Biden to work to counter the social, economic and political forces that drive migrants and asylum seekers to the U.S., including many who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

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

Among the new initiatives announced Monday are a push by Nespresso to support coffee-growing 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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