Hare, Offenheiser pen op-ed in The Hill on cuts to Central American aid

Author: Luis Ruuska

Person Ray OffenheiserRay Offenheiser

Person Tom HareTom Hare

An op-ed piece co-written by two staff members at the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD), part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, which rebukes the Trump administration's recent decision to cut foreign aid to several Central American countries has been published by The Hill. 

The piece, "Ending assistance to Central America is morally shameful," was co-written by Tom Hare, a senior technical associate at NDIGD, and Ray Offenheiser, director of NDIGD and a Distinguished Professor of the Practice in the Keough School. The pair wrote the op-ed in response to President Donald Trump's March 30 decision to unilaterally eliminate development assistance from the United States to the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, as well as close the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes of blocking "caravans" of refugees fleeing the Northern Triangle.

"Plenty of research shows that increased economic opportunity and security reduce the intentions to migrate. Whether you like development programs or not, without United States support, they will diminish in size and scope, while families who depend on them will suffer most and migration will further increase," say the authors in the op-ed. "Stopping development assistance will also do nothing to pressure the governments in the region that the Trump administration is actively targeting. They will not be motivated by threats of cuts to development assistance. Some officials may even quietly celebrate it."

Read the full op-ed piece at The Hill.

Hare's research primarily examines rule of law and human rights programs in Central America. His experience in design, implementation, and evaluation of international development programs includes work funded by the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, United Nations, and private donors. Hare is the author of Zonas Peligrosas: The Challenge of Creating Safe Neighborhoods in Central America (Fordham University Press), which was released in 2018.

Offenheiser's expertise and policy work is focused on food security and agricultural policy; foreign assistance policy; humanitarian response to natural disasters and armed conflict; human rights and activism; and sustainability in corporate supply chains. Prior to joining Notre Dame in August 2017, Offenheiser was the president of Oxfam America—a Boston-based international relief and development agency and the U.S. affiliate of Oxfam International—for over 20 years. He has served on the advisory boards of the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Aspen Institute, among other organizations.

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD)—an integral part of the new Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame—works to address global poverty and inequality through policy, practice, and partnership. 

Contact: Luis Ruuska, communications specialist, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, lruuska@nd.edu