U.S. to provide $240 million in new assistance for migrants across Americas

LIMA, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The United States will provide $240 million in new humanitarian assistance to help meet the needs of refugees and migrants across the Western Hemisphere, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday.

Speaking at a migration-themed event at a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Lima, Blinken said the assistance would be delivered through health services, shelter, education and legal assistance.

"The support will help host communities better integrate migrant populations, including by funding programs to support migrants and applying for official status," Blinken said.

The top U.S. diplomat is in Peru, the last stop of his week-long Latin America tour, as he tries to reassert U.S. commitment to the region at a time when Washington's foreign policy focus has been elsewhere, particularly with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But migration remains a major regional challenge, and one that he has sought to address during his trip.

Of the new funding, nearly $82 million will be humanitarian assistance and will be provided to refugee and migrant communities across the region, according to information provided by the State Department.

Over $160 million will be in the form of bilateral and regional security assistance. Nearly $150 million of that will be provided through programs addressing weak criminal justice institutions in partner countries and corruption - among the reasons Washington sees as the root cause of migration from Central America.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.