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Vital, but unsung immigration news: US business/government Partners expanding funds to address root causes in Central America

“Harris Announces Funding to Address Root Causes of Migration”

“WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday announced almost $1 billion in new pledges by private companies to support communities in Central America, part of the Biden administration’s effort to keep migrants from fleeing toward the U.S. border.

Ten companies, including Nestle, Target and Columbia Sportswear, said they would collectively spend $950 million on projects in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to support farmers, create textile jobs and invest in telecommunications and other industries …

[This] added to the commitments from businesses through the Partnership for Central America, a nonprofit organization that was created in mid-2021 to facilitate Ms. Harris’s efforts to rally support for the region. The partnership had previously announced about $3 billion in future spending from a range of companies.

The idea, according to the vice president’s aides, is to address what she calls the root causes of migration: poverty, corruption, climate change and political instability that drives people to leave their homes in search of a better life…

… approximately 47 companies and organizations are collaborating across financial services, textiles and apparel, agriculture , technology, communications, and nonprofit sectors to strengthen the region’s economic security.”

Of note:

. These are careful, capitalistic decisions by responsible stewards of multi-stakeholder institutions.  The commitments represent the near-genius of CEOs and boards who have come to recognize the value of melding traditional and sustainable development, ESG goals – and act accordingly. It is not philanthropy.

. There is no naivete here. A typical participating business leader acknowledged that it is unlikely to make a difference in the next few months or even years. And, like most long-range strategic planning, it may waver over time.

. The Partnership for Central America must get government support regulatory changes, adjustments to tariffs and infrastructure development.

. The Administration must generate substantial funding, especially for infrastructure, perhaps via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and a planned Northern Central America Investment Facilitation Team.

And, fundamentally:

. The Partnership aid plan is a long-term complement to the difficult but vital efforts to manage the enormous humanitarian challenges at the U.S. southern border.