From 1962 to date, the United States, through USAID, has earmarked $1.8 billion dollars for development projects in the Dominican Republic. The country’s ties with the world’s leading economic power could be considered close, as the American nation has paid close attention to the DR, considering the number of Dominicans who emigrate in search of the ‘American dream’.
President Luis Abinader, together with Miguel Ceara Hatton, Minister of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD), and Robert W. Thomas, Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, have signed a new bilateral agreement, this time for US$251 million, which sets in motion the cooperation strategy for the next 5 years of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the country.
The agreement follows up on the high-level dialogue and joint declaration on institutional reforms made in recent months between the two economies.
Both the DR and the United States pledged to devote efforts to support issues such as police reform, the fight against corruption, citizen security, the strengthening of mechanisms to improve transparency and the independence of state oversight bodies, and the fight against human trafficking, among others.
Robert W. Thomas emphasized that the agreement supports investing in environmental conservation and the use of renewable energy, improving health and other public services for a healthier and more productive society.
The main goal of the agreement is to promote a safer, more inclusive and prosperous Dominican Republic that advances local, border and regional resilience by focusing on several pillars.
The first focus is on policy reform and effective governance centered on transparency, accountability, equity, social and environmental protection and also includes legal and regulatory reforms.
This pillar seeks to identify practical policy solutions that can improve public services, as well as work on public policies that seek collective solutions for marginalized communities and foster a more inclusive civil society.
The second pillar of the agreement is to improve the effectiveness of public health services, such as access to clean water, basic education and electricity wiring.
This second pillar will promote the strengthening of the justice sector, health service delivery, partnerships with the private sector to co-create and co-execute initiatives that support service systems that identify solutions to environmental challenges.
The third pillar is local sustainability and resilience through locally created and led development initiatives and solutions. Coalition building and investment in local organizations will be encouraged to promote youth development and prevent crime and violence. Finally, this pillar seeks to strengthen and improve the quality of health and HIV services.