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International Community Mobilizes to Seek Solutions to Forced Displacement affecting Central America and Mexico

  June 10, 2021

  • Cooperating countries, the European Union, multilateral organizations, international agencies, development banks, the private sector and civil society made new commitments of humanitarian and development support, with contributions of 110 million dollars.

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica -- The international community reaffirmed its solidarity with forcibly displaced people in Central America and Mexico and with the seven countries that make up the Regional Integrated Framework for Protection and Solutions (MIRPS) in the region, during an international event held on June 10.

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, who convened the event in his capacity as Chair of the MIRPS Support Platform, announced that Spain will contribute 6.3 million euros (US $7.6 million) for the 2021-2022 period as direct support to the action plans of the MIRPS countries. President Sánchez highlighted that the situation, "with one million displaced people and a reality that is especially hard on women and minors, is pressing."

Costa Rica hosted the event in which 12 cooperating countries and the European Union, multilateral organizations and international agencies, development banks, the private sector and civil society met with the aim of joining forces to provide a comprehensive and coordinated response to displacement in the region.

"Migration and refugee flows are a reality in our region. The approach requires urgent joint action in solidarity. It also requires public and strategic actions in alliance with international organizations, partner countries and civil sectors that offer solutions to the causes that generate these flows," said Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica.

Guatemala, in its capacity as Pro-Tempore Chair of the MIRPS, reiterated the commitment of member states to continue advancing in the implementation of their national action plans aimed at strengthening systems of shelter, addressing the immediate and persistent needs of displaced persons in need of protection, as well as supporting host countries and communities in the search for lasting solutions.

"We have relied on short-term solutions to address irregular migration, to detain migrants in various ways, and have even criminalized them. Let's bet on a better solution: building prosperity," said Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, highlighted the current favorable context for joint action toward the region. "The crisis in Central America, which has forced more than one million people into displacement, is as humanitarian in its impact as it is security and development in its roots. These three dimensions are closely linked, and high levels of human mobility will not be mitigated without a comprehensive and coordinated response that can promote gains in social inclusion, prosperity and violence reduction," he said.

Meanwhile Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), said: 

"We will not rest in continuing to advocate from our political forum to promote the generation of lasting solutions for refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons in Central America and Mexico, in the interest of achieving more inclusion, more protection, more dignity and more rights for more people. The commitments of financial support that we heard today at this event are a great step forward in this regard, which we value and appreciate."

Spain, as Chair of the Support Platform, welcomed the participation of governments and the private sector at the highest level, as well as the generous contributions received and the encouraging messages of solidarity. In addition to the support already being provided in the region by cooperating states and development banks, new humanitarian and development commitments were presented during the Solidarity Event, with substantial contributions totaling more than US$110 million from Spain, the European Union, the United States, Ireland and Switzerland, as well as private sector partners and foundations.  The organizers also decided to establish a joint mechanism to follow up on the results of this event to continue mobilizing support for the region.

It should also be noted that Canada reaffirmed its commitment to assume the next Chair of the Support Platform to continue this process of cooperation between the MIRPS countries and the international community.

The event was organized by the governments of Spain, Costa Rica and Guatemala, with the support of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the OAS, in the margins of the Summit of the Central American Integration System.

For more information contact:

Spain:         Ainhoa Goni Ainhoa.Goni@comunicacion.presidencia.gob.es
Guatemala: Vicky Castillo comunicacion@minex.gob.gt
Costa Rica: Wilberth Quesada wilberth.quesada@presidencia.go.cr
UNHCR:      Sibylla Brodzinsky brodzins@unhcr.org  
                   William Spindler spindler@unhcr.org  
OAS:           Maria Isabel Rivero MRivero@oas.org

Reference: E-064/21