USAID & City of L.A. Announce Partnership to Combat Violence in the Americas

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Los Angeles, CA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the City of Los Angeles today formalized a partnership to improve regional security and reduce gang violence in the Western Hemisphere.  The Memorandum of Understanding between the two focuses on citizen security initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, the region with the highest homicide rate in the world, and benefits from the City of L.A.’s leadership combating gang violence and promoting youth development.

“With the City of Los Angeles, we share a mutual emphasis on social prevention in partnership with law enforcement to overcome violence and citizen unrest,” said Rajiv Shah, Administrator for USAID. “We have a common interest in improving citizen security in Latin America and the Caribbean and must continue to foster opportunities, especially for youth who comprise 50% of the region’s population.”

“Los Angeles learned how to combat violence and we want to use our joint expertise to aggressively tackle citizen insecurity in the Americas, said Dr. Shah.  “In Central America, we have a vested interest in stabilizing the region and the effects it has here in the United States.”

As part of the agreement, the City of L.A will:

  • Serve as an advisor on USAID’s citizen security programming for the region.
  • Share best practices and technical knowledge with USAID staff and regional program implementers.
  • Collaborate on specific at-risk youth initiatives.
  • Assist with city-to-city partnerships and best practices.

The partnership builds upon the U.S. Government’s Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). USAID’s efforts support social prevention and rule of law programming, specifically working with municipalities, community police, at-risk youth, and criminal courts. To date, USAID has established 80 outreach centers for at-risk youth in the Northern Triangle countries and Panama.