On Saturday, the State Department announced that it was halting all U.S. foreign aid going to the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador at the direction of President Donald Trump.
Trump said that the countries had done too little for the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen elaborated that the nations in question had not been able to strengthen their border security or prevent “irregular migration” and that the cut off of aid money was in connection to that instant.
Trump had previously drawn controversy by threatening to cut of U.S. foreign aid to the three countries, drawing a connection between the growing influx of migrants from Central America to the U.S. and the countries’ perceived inaction on the matter.
Looking at a bigger picture, U.S. foreign aid
to the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle is only a very small part of all U.S. foreign aid, which is going to Afghanistan and the Middle East predominantly. Many countries in Africa are also receiving small or medium-sized sums.
A total of 56 nations received more than US$100 million in foreign aid from the U.S. in 2017. Roughly one quarter was provided by the U.S. army, with the countries on top of the list typically receiving a much larger share of military aid.