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White House clears Honduras for millions in aid from U.S.

FILE--In this Aug. 31, 2016, President Barack Obama speaks during the 20th annual Lake Tahoe Summit at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys, in Stateline, Nev. Two weeks after President Obama made his first trip to Lake Tahoe with an impassioned plea about the inseparable link between the region's economy and its environment, Congress has taken a big step toward spending hundreds of millions of dollars to restore and protect the alpine lake over the next 10 years. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file)

FILE--In this Aug. 31, 2016, President Barack Obama speaks during the 20th annual Lake Tahoe Summit at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys, in Stateline, Nev. Two weeks after President Obama made his first trip to Lake Tahoe with an impassioned plea about the inseparable link between the region's economy and its environment, Congress has taken a big step toward spending hundreds of millions of dollars to restore and protect the alpine lake over the next 10 years. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Obama administration has certified that Honduras has taken "effective steps" to improve human rights conditions and reduce corruption despite ongoing concerns of abuse. The move frees up millions of dollars in U.S. aid to the Central American country.

The certification, made by the State Department on September 30 but not announced until Friday, was required by Congress in order for the administration to release $55 million in assistance it plans for Honduras in the current budget year that ends next October.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the certification did not mean "all is well and good" in Honduras, but rather that it had made significant enough progress to warrant the aid.

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