Today, the United States and Mexico are announcing Sembrando Oportunidades, a new framework for development cooperation to address the root causes of irregular migration from northern Central America. Under this framework, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Mexican Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AMEXCID) plan to coordinate our development resources and expertise to help citizens of northern Central America build prosperous futures in their home communities.
Our complementary efforts are set to begin in Honduras, where USAID and AMEXCID plan to provide youth with skills and experience that can lead to long-term employment, reducing the risk of irregular migration. Under this initiative, we aim to reach more than 500,000 at-risk youth in Honduras. Both the United States and Mexico have committed resources to this effort and both agencies have begun to coordinate.
Sembrando Oportunidades will grow to include additional agriculture and youth workforce development activities, pending availability of funds. USAID and AMEXCID have already made joint trips to northern Central America to identify potential areas for collaboration. USAID plans to complement AMEXCID’s Jovenes Construyendo el Futuro program by linking scholarship opportunities as an option for youth graduating from AMEXCID assistance in El Salvador through the USAID-funded program with the International Organization for Migration Becas para Oportunidades Educativas. AMEXCID intends to continue to assist small farmers through their Sembrando Vida agriculture and reforestation program, while USAID intends to continue to help farmers reach new and higher value market opportunities. USAID plans to pilot and rigorously evaluate programmatic approaches to conditional cash transfers in the region, sharing its findings with AMEXCID.
USAID also intends to strengthen the institutional partnership with AMEXCID under Sembrando Oportunidades, sharing materials and best practices, establishing a coordinated research and learning agenda that will include rigorous analysis to inform root cause programs, and developing guidelines for branding joint initiatives.
In addition, under the Sembrando Oportunidades framework, the United States and Mexico plan to work together in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to promote good governance, an improved business enabling environment, and enhanced investment by national governments in their neglected communities.
Sembrando Oportunidades expands on the shared vision for enhanced development cooperation to address the root causes of migration discussed by President López Obrador and President Biden during the North American Leaders’ Summit. It also builds on the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the U.S. and Mexican Governments on June 8, 2021 during the visit of Vice President Harris to Mexico City. The Government of Mexico is implementing its largest development programs in its history in Central America, and President Biden has also made a historic commitment to the region under the U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America. Sembrando Oportunidades represents our shared vision and joint commitment to foster more inclusive and sustainable development in northern Central America.