Integration and Development Project (MIDP) and its various bodies
(Executive Committee; the national offices of its 10 member countries: Belize,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama; the Executive Steering Committee; and the institutions
of the Interagency Technical Group) present some of its most important
achievements for 2015 in its nine areas of focus and at the political and
Food and nutrition
Mexico made its National Crusade Against Hunger international
by adding Mesoamerica without Hunger to
the MIDP project portfolio. The project’s aim is to improve food security in
the region in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture
The use of new technologies in biofuels is a vital part of
energy production in the region. Two workshops were held and a Memorandum of
Understanding signed on the rational and efficient use of energy (PMUREE) to
encourage an exchange of experiences and promote actions and projects in energy
efficiency at the regional and national levels.
The Mesoamerican region has a population of 226 million and
3.65 million km2 of land area, a large area in which to promote trade and
exchanges. Georeferencing systems specialists from the Ministries and
Departments of Public Works and Transport of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama agreed on how to
design the Mesoamerica Geographic Information System (GIS) that will map existing
transportation routes to connect the 10 Mesoamerican countries and to make the
existing regional infrastructure projects more efficient.
This year, construction was begun on the binational bridge
over the Sixaola River between Costa Rica and Panama. The project was funded by
the Mexican government through the Infrastructure Fund for Mesoamerican and
Caribbean Countries (Yucatan Agreement).
In addition, Mexico and El Salvador announced funding for
widening the road to the port of La Libertad and bridges over the La Paz river and
La Hachadura in El Salvador, both on the border with Guatemala, as part of the
Pacific Corridor of the International Network of Mesoamerican Highways (RICAM).
Both projects will have a positive impact on trade and the transit of people
throughout the Mesoamerican region and will connect towns and productive zones.
The Ministries of Public Works and Transport agreed to create
an oversight committee for MIDP transport projects and they reiterated their
commitment to coordinating the various information platforms and to drawing up
a plan of action to develop a Mesoamerican Framework for Mobility and Logistics.
A Mesoamerican Short Distance Maritime Transport project
(TMDC) was also begun as an alternative for transporting cargo and to promote
greater maritime trade between the Mesoamerican countries.
The Foreign Ministry and the Superintendency of Electricity
and Telecommunications (SIGET) of El
Salvador officially launched a fiber optic network (Mesoamerican Information
Highway – AMI), a network of 1,800 kilometers that has been installed using SIEPAC
infrastructure throughout Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa
Rica and Panama to help reduce the digital divide and facilitate access to the
internet. Moreover, in March 2015, the CAF-Latin American Development Bank approved
a loan of US$14 million for the network.
The 4th Mesoamerican Forum for SMEs was held to
set the Mesoamerican SME Agenda and agree on a short- and medium-term
strategic plan to strengthen this important economic sector for the region.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved loans to
finance border integration projects in Costa Rica and Nicaragua for US$100 and
US$55 million respectively as part of the Mesoamerican Program for Coordinated
Border Management; the border crossings involved are Peñas Blancas and San
Pancho-Las Tablillas, part of the RICAM. The time and cost involved in crossing
the border for goods and people will be significantly reduced, enhancing the
competitiveness of the countries and the region.
Drought is a regional priority. Therefore, during 2015,
three new initiatives were approved to deal jointly with this serious problem: a
Mesoamerican agenda on forest fires; a virtual center of excellence for monitoring
and a climate service center for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.
The Mesoamerican and Caribbean Climate Service Center
developed the first two “Mesoamerican Regional Climate Outlook” forums,
including the south of Mexico and Colombia, a joint effort between the Meteorological
and Hydrological Services (NMHS) of the countries involved to analyze the climate
in Mesoamerica and forecast high-impact climatic events in the region.
The Mesoamerican Integrated Risk Management Network (RMGIR)
is a harmonized platform with information on regional environmental threats and
vulnerabilities. Its purpose is to strengthen the capacities of national
institutions for risk management and reduce the impact of natural disasters.
The intermediate stage of creating this network will be
financed by New Zealand and the Mexican Agency for International Development
Cooperation (AMEXCID), through the Office of the Executive Director of the
Mesoamerica Project (USD 75,999).
The first seven operations of the 2015 Mesoamerica Health
Initiative in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and
the state of Chiapas in Mexico were concluded for an additional USD23 million
and USD21 million authorized by the governments for health projects that help
reduce mortality rates in the poorest segments of the population. This
represents 48 of the 72 initiative’s goals (66%).
At the 7th meeting of the Council of Ministers of
the Mesoamerican Public Health System (SMSP), the ministers approved the master
plans for dengue and chikingunya, malaria, road safety and primary health care,
which will be the focus of the SMSP in the coming years.
In 2015, the 15th Tuxtla Summit was held in Antigua,
Guatemala on June 26, 2015, leadindg to new mandates such as the addition of
the FAO to the Mesoamerica Project Interagency Technical Group (GTI).
Between 2008 and 2015, the Mesoamerica Project has overseen
a total of 107 financial transactions with a total value of USD3,077.4 million,
provided to countries through loans and grants from the Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB) the Central American Bank for Economic Integration
(CABEI), CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the Yucatan Fund of the
Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID).
About the Mesoamerica
The Mesoamerica Integration and Development Project is a forum
for high-level political dialogue, consensus, cooperation and joint efforts to
attract resources to strengthen Mesoamerican integration and development, with
the aim of improving the quality of life of its 226 million inhabitants. The members
are: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.
For more information, see the AMEXCID website: http://www.amexcid.gob.mx