Why is the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle important?
Guatemala has a relatively young population where 50% are between the ages 0 and 20,) and 20% are between 15 and 25 years old. The country´s economy has been characterized as a slow generator when it comes to average income growth, in fact, within the last 15 years GDP has grown at a rate of 1%. With this statistic in mind it means that the average Guatemalan duplicates their income every 70 years, and implies that the country isn’t generating sufficient opportunities for most of the people. According to surveys taken by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the primary cause for Guatemalans to migrate is due to the lack of economic opportunities.
Approximately one and a half million Guatemalans live in the USA and year after year they send remittances that represent 10% of the country’s GDP (approx. US$ 6 billion). However, this doesn’t help us to analyze the main reasons why people are migrating, even after they know all the risks of doing it. The migration often results into a humanitarian crisis like the one in 2014 regarding migrant children.
The crisis of 2014 was the starting point for the governments of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and United States to think over the main causes of this high level of immigrants. This turned out with a commitment from all the parties on finding new strategies to reduce this phenomenon and improve the welfare of the countries.
Which are the strategic actions of the A4P Plan?
The Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity was the result of a political discussion between United States and Northern Triangle governments. The Plan establishes the following strategical actions to mitigate the causes of human migration:
- Development of Human Capital
- Enhance the productive sector
- Improve the access to Security and Justice
- Strengthen Public Institutions and Improve Transparency
There must be a considerable effort from the government and its partners; Private Sector, Civil Society and Cooperating Partners. In Guatemala the entity in charge of the coordination of the Plan and international feedback is PRONACOM (Programa Nacional para la Competitividad) National Program of Competitiveness.
There are several actions to implement the A4P Plan, but one of the principal actions is the direct involvement from all entities in order to make any improvement’s. The main governmental institutions that will help PRONACOM to develop the Plan are:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Finance
- SEGEPLAN (Secretaria General de Planificación) General Secretary of Planning
It’s necessary for the Plan to have a deep and productive discussion between the parties, which is why this planning board was created with different representatives from the government, Private Sector and Civil Society that can truly support and implement the new actions they reach and fulfill the goals of this plan.
In Guatemala fifty-one municipalities have been prioritized with the intention of having a stronger impact from the actions of the plan. Mayors and the authorities of these municipalities were visited to be informed on the Plan and the actions that it means to support them.
Last but not least the monitoring and transparency of the strategic actions is a priority to reach the main objectives and best results. This is why the Ministry of Finance is creating a platform that will monitor all the resources associated to the plan under the national budget.
The first steps have been taken and we’re looking forward to reach the objective of the Plan.