IDB President pledges $500 million to support security strategy in Central America

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala - Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno today announced that the Bank will provide $500 million over the next two years to support a regional security strategy and national citizen security programs in Central America. 

Moreno made his announcement in a speech before the International Conference on Citizen Security attended by the presidents of the countries of Central America, Mexico and Colombia. The objective of the conference is to coordinate action by countries and donors to address security issues. 

Also participating in the conference are United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez, Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno Charme, Foreign Minister of Georgia Grigol Vashadze, World Bank Vice President Pamela Cox, European Union Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht, other government officials, mayors, and representatives of civil society and the private sector in Central America. 

"The IDB reaffirms its commitment to the region by allocating $500 million to support the efforts of the Central American countries, donor nations, and multilateral agencies," said Moreno. 

President Moreno emphasized the importance of developing regional initiatives to address a phenomenon that has become one of the main obstacles to development in Central America. "Insecurity threatens peace and social progress as well as the consolidation of democratic processes,” said Moreno. “It scares away investors, increases the costs of doing business for the private sector, and undermines social cohesion." 

The Bank will focus its regional support on the creation of a system to share security information and intelligence, the development of a mechanism for South-South cooperation and North-South exchange of knowledge for best practices, and the search for innovative, efficient, and sustainable models for financing security activities. The Bank will also work with the countries to implement security initiatives at national borders and customs facilities. 

At the national and local level, the IDB will support the design of security plans that address areas such as strengthening institutional and technological capacity. In addition, the Bank will support social policies to provide productive employment for the more than five million young people at risk in the region, with programs that include school retention, employment, and sports, among others. 

"This international conference provides us with the opportunity to create a strong alliance for security in Central America," said Moreno. "We must form a partnership among government, civil society, business, and media in the region. The strategy belongs to all, and will require strong support from the international community."