US, Mexico unveil Central America aid plan in attempt to slow migration

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Mexico and the United States on Wednesday announced a joint plan to send development and agricultural aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to alleviate the root causes of migration from those countries.

Under the plan, dubbed "Sembrando Oportunidades," or "Planting Opportunities," both countries will work through their own agencies, the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (Amexcid) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to address irregular migration from northern Central America.

USAID said in a press release that the two agencies will "plan to coordinate our development resources and expertise to help citizens of northern Central America build prosperous futures in their home communities."

The efforts are set to begin in Honduras, where the agencies will "plan to provide youth with skills and experience that can lead to long-term employment, reducing the risk of irregular migration," Amexcid said in a press release.

"Under this initiative, we aim to reach more than 500,000 at-risk youth in Honduras," it added. "Both Mexico and the United States have committed resources to this effort and both agencies have begun to coordinate."

In addition, the countries will also work together in El Salvador and Guatemala "to promote good governance, an improved business enabling environment, and enhanced investment by national governments in their neglected communities."

In the past, Mexico has urged the U.S. to invest more in Central America to counter the flow of migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Migration from the southern border has led to a record number of people being arrested in the past year.

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