COMMITMENT FOR LIFE: STORIES FOR CHANGE – NOVEMBER 2017

CENTRAL AMERICA

Central America is characterised by high levels of inequality as much in the socio-political sphere as economically and culturally. Given the fragility of State institutions, many cases of corruption remain unpunished. Politicians, civil servants and groups inside the private sector, have colluded to institutionalise tax evasion and corruption. Because of this, the promotion of transparency in State institutions as well as the enabling of space for civil society participation appears to be critical for democratic stability and the struggle to eradicate poverty and inequality. In November 2017, the region will have a Presidential election process in Honduras and Municipality elections in Nicaragua.

A new scenario has emerged with the present US government and immigration policy. President Trump considers that illegal immigrants passing through Central America are a danger for US national security. Therefore, more controls will be put in place to avoid citizens from these countries arriving in the US. The additional measures have been to capture people linked with gangs in the US and deport them to Central America. This situation will have a direct impact in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, countries which already have the highest rate of violence in the region.

Christian Aid is supporting cross-regional work on climate monitoring with small farmers’ organisations. The initiative is led by Centro Humboldt, a partner based in Nicaragua. Through this work, ten organisations from the four countries are learning how to monitor the climate variation and gathering information that allow them to take decisions for the adaptation process to climate change. This way, small farmers are developing early warning systems, building seed banks, and incorporating climate change resistant crop varieties and in the case of indigenous communities, they are recovering native seeds.

In terms of inclusive markets, partner El Zompopero (Shrimp Co-operative) visited by CfL in 2014, has achieved a successful advocacy campaign with the national government to get resources for the shrimp processing centre. The Government of El Salvador has made an important investment to build the processing centre. This way, it is expected the Cooperative improves its role in the shrimp sector and increases the income of the cooperative members and the community.

 

Author: David Wiggs

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