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Hello Newswire readers. I'm Teresa Welsh, filling in for my colleague Michael Igoe. In today’s edition, we look at the flaws in USAID’s plan to stem Central American migration to the U.S.

On Monday, USAID outlined the measures it’s taking to “help aggressively address the economic, security, and governance challenges” that cause irregular migration from Central America. The current U.S. approach is to stem arrivals on its southern border by addressing root causes of migration. But not everyone buys into the philosophy that aid should be deployed solely as a deterrent to migration.

• U.S. President Joe Biden included $861 million to address root causes in Friday’s budget, the first installment of the total $4 billion he says is needed to address corruption, economic stagnation, violence, food insecurity, and climate change vulnerability.

• But those interconnected — and often inseparable — root causes can’t all be solved by writing a check for a development program, regardless of the intense pressure on Biden and his administration to stabilize the situation at the border. Seeing tangible improvement in a community to help root people there could take a decade or more — or at minimum, longer than a U.S. political cycle.

• In addition to the Disaster Assistance Response Team deployment USAID announced last week, the agency said it will also be focusing on providing opportunities to people most likely to migrate; providing additional humanitarian assistance in the wake of two devastating hurricanes last fall; supporting returned migrants; and encouraging legal pathways to migration.

I’ll be keeping tabs on USAID efforts, how success is determined — and who decides.


We obtained the names of three additional candidates being considered to lead OCHA after Mark Lowcock’s departure: IFRC President Francesco Rocca, U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic Denise Brown, and U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths. The humanitarian agency has typically been led by a Briton — a tradition some in the humanitarian community are now calling to end — but Rocca is Italian and Brown is Canadian.

Names on the list also include two other Brits: U.K. Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs Nick Dyer and Director for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Harriet Matthews. Also on the shortlist:

• EU Ambassador to the U.N. Olof Skoog (Swedish)
• World Bank Executive Director Koen Davidse (Dutch)
• MSF International President Dr. Joanne Liu (Canadian)
• Global Protection Cluster Coordinator William Chemaly (Lebanese)

Read: The battle for the future of OCHA, explained


“We are changing things now at the pace that normally would have taken us 15 years or something to do, but we just have to.”

— IFPRI Director General Johan Swinnen on what lessons COVID-19 has for food systems reform.


While new decisions were welcomed on debt relief at last week’s World Bank spring meetings, the moves thus far have mainly focused on the liquidity challenge. But no real progress was made last week on the G-20 Debt Framework, although it’s become clear that many countries need immediate liquidity. And even as they recover, their debt levels remain unsustainable. Adva Saldinger digs into what happened last week on debt.

Devex Pro: World leaders 'missed opportunity' to relieve long-term debt burdens


Child helplines receive more than 30 million calls annually, and since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a drastic increase in overall contacts as schools closed down and children had nowhere to escape.

Now, many helplines are using Aselo, a service developed by Silicon Valley nonprofit Tech Matters and Child Helpline International, which tracks conversations and prioritizes urgent cases, allowing children to get help via different channels and helplines to compare data.

Read: Tech Matters partnership leverages tech for global child helplines


Career diplomat Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley has been appointed as the U.S. State Department's chief diversity and inclusion officer. [Politico]

U.N. chief António Guterres recommends taxing those who have made a profit during the pandemic, as the wealth of the world's richest reached $3 trillion last year. [AP]

Rights groups have filed a case at the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice challenging Mali's failure to pass a law criminalizing female genital mutilation. [Reuters]

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About the author

  • Teresa Welsh

    Teresa Welsh is a Senior Reporter at Devex. She has reported from more than 10 countries and is currently based in Washington, D.C. Her coverage focuses on Latin America; U.S. foreign assistance policy; fragile states; food systems and nutrition; and refugees and migration. Prior to joining Devex, Teresa worked at McClatchy's Washington Bureau and covered foreign affairs for U.S. News and World Report. She was a reporter in Colombia, where she previously lived teaching English. Teresa earned bachelor of arts degrees in journalism and Latin American studies from the University of Wisconsin.