The United States has launched an initiative to foster economic opportunities in Northern Triangle countries, with dozens of global firms, including Microsoft, signing up to take part.
The initiative, named “Call to Action”, is designed to address the root causes of immigrant exodus in Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
The organizations participating in the initiative include Accion, Bancolombia, Chobani, Davivienda, Duolingo, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Mastercard, Microsoft, Nespresso, Pro Mujer, the Tent Partnership for Refugees, and the World Economic Forum.
Each of these organizations will draw on its own resources to make the initiative a success. Microsoft, for example, has vowed to expand internet access to up to 3 million people in the region by July 2022, while Mastercard will bring 5 million people into the financial system and digitalize 1 million micro and small businesses.
The US government on its part will help combat corruption and improve security, something that is vital to attract foreign investments into the region.
“This approach will leverage commitments and resources from the governments in the Northern Triangle, as well as partnerships with multilateral development banks and international financial institutions,” reads a press release from the White House.
The Northern Triangle countries have long been caught in the grip of deadly violence caused by criminal gangs associated with Colombian or Mexican drug cartels. People escaping the violence often end up at the US border with Mexico. The Joe Biden administration is under tremendous pressure to stem the flow of these immigrants.