U.S. Spending $900,000 to Help Women Start Businesses--in Peru and El Salvador

By Pete Winn | November 5, 2012 | 11:30am EST

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. is spending $900,000 to help women start businesses and create jobs--in Peru and El Salvador.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the new Women's Entrepreneurship Trust Fund last month on visit to the Peruvian capital of Lima.

“The United States is making an initial contribution of $900,000 to launch pilot programs here in Peru and in El Salvador,” Clinton said on October 16.

“But we need more partners and more contributors to the trust fund, so I’d like to invite other governments and businesses to contribute.”

The money, according to Clinton, will be used to train rural women in Peru and in El Salvador for jobs as entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Clinton said the U.S. and Peru were working together as partners to support women in rural areas who “are replacing thousands of hectares of illegal coca fields with profitable crops, like chocolate and coffee and palm oil.”

Approximately $500,000 of the money will go to Peru. The program will go far beyond job training, Clinton said.

“With $500,000 in initial funding, we’ll focus on helping Peruvian women advocate for their own needs, mobilize broad national support for issues affecting them, particularly rural women.

“We want to make sure they know who to contact if healthcare workers in rural clinics do not have proper training or if schools lack basic supplies. With more advocacy, openness, and accountability, women and their government can work together to improve the lives of Peruvians.”

The money is part of the U.S.’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, which Clinton announced earlier this year.

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