From March 18-25, Deputy Administrator Paloma Adams-Allen visited Paraguay and Peru, where she gained field perspectives on opportunities and challenges of advancing USAID’s localization, private-sector engagement, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) goals, and she met with government officials, partners, and communities to underscore the Agency’s commitment to collaborate closely on shared priorities.
While in Paraguay, Deputy Administrator Adams-Allen opened and provided remarks, alongside Ambassador Marc Ostfield, at USAID’s Local Works Learning Summit with participants from around Latin America and the Caribbean. The participant-led, hands-on conference enabled cross-Mission and cross-sector learning on strengthening local organizations’ capacity to plan, finance, and implement locally led development programs. Key lessons learned will contribute to USAID’s broader efforts to advance the localization of foreign assistance.
The Deputy Administrator also participated in two roundtables where she heard from local private-sector, government representatives, and NGO partners on how they work together to sustainably invest in communities and engage in anti-corruption reform in Paraguay. In addition, she met with longstanding partners Fundacion Paraguaya and Fundacion Saraki to view firsthand how USAID builds local institutional capacity to address development issues in Paraguay. USAID’s instrumental role in the growth of those organizations is a great example of progress beyond programs.
In Peru, Deputy Administrator Adams-Allen met with various local partners including private sector representatives creating economic opportunities in partnership with Indigenous and marginalized communities in the Amazon; participated in a climate finance sustainable livelihoods lunch with business community partners; met with leadership and members of a specialty coffee cooperative, Central de Cafe y Cacao that is improving the lives of smallholder coffee farmers in areas affected by illicit coca production; and joined U.S. Ambassador to Peru Lisa Kenna to learn about the work of Union Venezolana, which partners with World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and USAID to provide economic opportunities and greater financial inclusion support to migrants.
The Deputy Administrator visited ESAN University, an almost 60-year partner of USAID and Stanford University and a leading business education institution in Peru. USAID played a central role in the establishment of ESAN in 1963. The Deputy Administrator met with alumni of USAID’s Afro-Peruvian & Indigenous Community (APIC) Internship Program Alumni and ESAN University Business School faculty and discussed the socio-economic challenges and opportunities facing Peru’s historically marginalized communities.
In both countries, Deputy Administrator Adams-Allen met with USAID staff to discuss USAID’s ambitious reform agenda, including efforts to operationalize localization of assistance, administrative burden reduction, and various workforce strengthening initiatives; and to express appreciation for and recognize their hard work delivering on USAID’s mission.