U.S. to Help Mexico With Employment Development, Agricultural Aid in Central America

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A group of Nicaraguan and Guatemalan migrants who walked together in the recent caravan, take a group photo before traveling to the city of Mexicali from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, Mexico Monday, after obtaining the visitor's card for humanitarian reasons, which allows them to legally stay and move in Mexico for one year. The Mexican government has recently opted for a new strategy to relieve pressure on Tapachula, the city on its southern border with Guatemala where tens of thousands of migrants accumulate, and to deactivate the caravans that have emerged in recent months: grant humanitarian visas and offer transfers to other states.

Mexico and the United States announced Wednesday a joint effort to promote economic and agricultural development in several Central American countries through aid programs, according to The Associated Press.

The plan will send development and agricultural aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to spur development and improve the quality of life to slow the waves of migration that have traveled through the countries in recent years.

The announcement of the plan, “Sembrando Oportunidades” (Planting Opportunities), did not contain specific funding figures.

Both countries will direct aid to the countries through their development aid agencies. The U.S. Agency for International Development said the plan marks “a new framework for development cooperation to address the root causes of irregular migration from northern Central America.”

In the specifics announced Wednesday, the loftiest goals were set in Honduras, with training programs and scholarships hoping to reach as many as 500,000 young people.

The countries “plan to bring abilities and experiences to young people with the aim of guiding them into long-term employment, reducing the risk of irregular migration,” according to a statement from Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department.

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