COMMITMENT FOR LIFE – STORIES FOR CHANGE MAY 2017
Image: Families in San Carlotta, supported by UNES, petitioning local councils for strengthening of their eroded river banks
Christian Aid’s Central America programme covers Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. They work with around 22 partner organisations, from community-based groups to larger organisations operating across the region and beyond. Local partners include indigenous communities, small farmers’ associations, development organisations, research institutions and faith-based organisations. Christian Aid has excellent knowledge of the region and the expertise and capacity to deliver complex projects on climate change adaptation, inclusive markets, tax justice, violence prevention and human rights.
Central America is characterised by high levels of inequality in the social, political, economic and cultural spheres. State institutions are fragile, and many cases of corruption go unpunished. Furthermore, institutional and government organisations have been used to strengthen networks that favour the illicit enrichment of political and business groups, with politicians, civil servants and parts of the private sector colluding to institutionalise tax evasion and corruption. This has all had a significant impact on poverty, perpetuating levels of exploitation and minimising the successful delivery of basic services to the poor.
As such, Christian Aid believes that the promotion of transparency in State, as well as private institutions is paramount to the eradication of poverty. Central America urgently needs an enabling environment for an active civil society space, that holds government institutions and others to account for their activities and transactions, and is able to campaign and advocate for the needs of the poor. Inequalities must be reduced in Central America if sustainable, long term development is to become a reality for all members of society.