Vice President Kamala Harris met today with Honduran President Xiomara Castro, which was President Castro’s first meeting with a foreign leader following her inauguration. They discussed deepening our cooperation across a broad range of issues, including addressing the root causes of migration, combatting corruption, and expanding economic opportunity. Vice President Harris welcomed the opportunity to engage with President Castro at the outset of her administration and underscored that the recent election is a mandate for positive change in Honduras and there are multiple ways we can advance our shared interests together.
The two leaders discussed ongoing cooperation to save lives and address the COVID-19 pandemic, including the United States donation of 3.9 million vaccines through COVAX thus far. Vice President Harris informed President Castro that several hundred thousand additional doses would be arriving in the next two months, the first of several donations to come in 2022. More specifically, they discussed the importance of education and President Castro’s desire to safely reopen schools. Vice President Harris shared the U.S. government’s commitment to provide over 500,000 pediatric syringes and $1.35 million for refurbishment of educational and health facilities to help with this effort. The United States will provide an additional $500,000 to support the Government of Honduras’ COVID-19 vaccine and biosafety communications campaign and to strengthen vaccine deployment.
Vice President Harris emphasized that combating corruption and impunity remains at the center of our commitment to address the root causes of migration. To that end, Vice President Harris welcomed President Castro’s focus on countering corruption and impunity, including her intent to request the assistance of the United Nations in establishing an international anti-corruption commission and commitment to advancing necessary legislative reforms to enable such a commission to succeed. They also discussed ways the United States and Honduras can work together to promote an equitable and inclusive economic recovery by stimulating economic growth and creation of good jobs. The United States committed to a senior-level trade mission and business delegation led by the Department of Commerce to generate business opportunities in Honduras as part of the U.S. government’s Call to Action, which the Vice President announced in May and which has generated more than $1.2 billion in private sector investment in the region.
The two leaders also discussed their shared concerns with gender-based violence in Honduras. Vice President Harris stressed the importance the U.S. places on combating sexual, gender-based and domestic violence and how this work is a core pillar of the U.S Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America. They also committed that United States and Honduran government agencies will initiate a strategic dialogue to take action on key bilateral issues, including anti-corruption, irregular migration, economic recovery, human rights, and security.