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Two-Minute Take: Frameworks for Distributing Funds in Central America

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Learn more about Matthew Rooney.
Matthew Rooney
Director, Outreach and Strategic Partnerships
George W. Bush Institute

Matthew Rooney, the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Managing Director, discusses how U.S. assistance is effectively distributed in Central America.

Recent debates about U.S. foreign aid, specifically to Central America, have called into question whether current frameworks and institutions exist to distribute these funds. For decades, U.S. foreign aid to Central America has not been given to the government of the recipient country; rather, the U.S. contracts with third parties like non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or educational institutions to provide goods and services directly to the citizens of the country. These programs have been effective and avoid misappropriation. Importantly, they also put the U.S. at the table with recipient governments and allow us to guide policy.