Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador Outline Joint Development Plan

Above: IDB headquarters in Washington

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras assembled in Washington last week to outline a plan to promote “economic, social and institutional development in their countries.”

Presidents Salvador Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador, Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala and Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras, joined by United States Vice President Joe Biden, were speaking at the opening of the Investing in Central America: Unlocking Opportunities for Growth conference, held at the Inter-American Development Bank’s office in Washington.

“Pursuing the goals we’ve set for ourselves with this Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle is an ambitious but possible and achievable task,” Sanchez Ceren said. “(This partnership) complements our medium- and long-term strategic aims by promoting dignity for our people and their effective participation in the quest for inclusive economic growth.”

Perez Molina said it was important for these countries to invest in their own citizens.

“Focusing our efforts on human capital is the best investment we can make for our countries’ development,” he said.

For his part, Hernandez said a “peaceful Central America, with opportunities for its people, with justice and security, will be of great benefit not only for our citizens but also for the United States and other peoples of the world.”

The three governments began working on the plan in August, in response to a “in response to a humanitarian crisis triggered by the exodus of tens of thousands of Central American children, teenagers and young mothers trying to reach the United States,” according to an IDB statement.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said the plan would require support from donor nations, multilateral agencies and the private sector.

“We can’t lose the momentum,” he said. “We must move quickly to build a coalition of allies willing to take risks and to support the plan over the long term.”