Biden Names Harris to Work with Central America on Migration – “plunging her into one of the most politically fraught issues facing the White House.”
How it’s going: (December 13, 2021)
VP Harris announces company investments in Central America
Of special significance: This private sector early embrace of the “Call to Action” is also demonstrated by the participation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for Central America. Think of it as corporate social responsibility (humanitarian), long-term smart business (market development), or both. But it is real. A few of the many examples of the first-phase $1.2 billion of company commitments:
. PepsiCo: “expects to invest at least $190 million in northern Central America through 2025, including improvements to its infrastructure and manufacturing plants, expansion of new distribution routes, IT projects, and investments aligned with its ‘pep+’ (PepsiCo Positive agenda.”
. Microsoft: “… catalyzed the development of digital access training centers, clean off-grid energy, and broadband access covering a population of 1.1. million people. The company engaged more than one hundred thousand individuals in soft technical and digital skills training.”
. Mastercard: “… announcing a commitment of $100 million investment in the region … has partnered with Walmart to enable access to credit for underserved citizens, and with Accion to digitize agricultural value chains and drive stronger financial inclusion for small shareholder farmers in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvidor.”
(For a more complete, but temporary, list see Read More below.)
Of course, the companies and the Biden Administration know full well that they are playing the “long game” – in fact, the “very long game” — in addressing some root causes of migration in the “Call to Action” by promoting economic opportunity. But coupled with several new U.S. policies attempting to address the current personal distress of the refugees at the U.S. southern border, the commitments are encouraging. And such company commitment numbers will surely grow.
Perspective from our new book, “Global Public Relations in the Roiling Twenty-Twenties…” (page 24):
“The many waves of immigrants seeking better lives have long been a global humanitarian tragedy … Migration Policy Institute has outlined options for addressing this extremely troubling and complex challenge, specifically at the U.S. Mexican border… [including] investing in development and public safety in [these] poorer countries.
“In May 2021, U.S. President Joseph Biden … delegated Vice President Kamala Harris ‘to oversee the administration’s plan to pump millions of dollars into the ravaged economies of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. She will work with the leaders of [these] Central American governments … to bolster the region’s economy in the hopes of reducing … violence and poverty.”
In other words, these are U.S. business commitments to help break into the tragic, toxic circle of broken societies in Central America.
The White House statement, December 13, 2021: