Obama to Request $1 Billion for Investment in Central America

1 minute read

President Barack Obama will request $1 billion from Congress on Monday to aid Central American governments making tough reforms as more youth seek opportunities in the United States, Vice President Joe Biden wrote in an op-ed published Thursday. That amount, he adds, is “almost three times what we generally have provided to Central America.”

Biden’s op-ed for the New York Times details that the funds would go toward security, governance and economic investments in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—where the bulk of the children who cross America’s southwestern border traveled from last summer. He uses past investments in Colombia to combat poverty, corruption and drug trafficking—amounting to $9 billion since 1999—as a barometer of success and notes that Obama “has asked me to lead this new effort.”

“The cost of investing now in a secure and prosperous Central America is modest compared with the costs of letting violence and poverty fester,” Biden writes. “Together, we can help Central America become an embodiment of the Western Hemisphere’s remarkable rise—not an exception to it.”

Read more at NYT.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com