Honduras: CLDP Conducts Assessments to Kick Off Central America Programming

October 16, 2017 - October 20, 2017

From October 16-20, CLDP will conduct two assessments in Honduras. The first assessment will be on trade facilitation, as part of CLDP's recently-approved project which aims to strengthen trade ties, boost regional integration through exports, and create jobs in Central America. This joint project between CLDP and the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) aims to support the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America by providing technical assistance to the governments of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvadaor, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The project's main objective is to encourage economic development through facilitation of international trade by addressing customs inadequacies in the region. Improvements in the functioning of customs organizations in the region will ease the flow of goods between countries, spurring growth and increasing employment opportunities.

The second assessment, to be carried out simultaneously, will be on the topic of microgrid energy, and will lay the groundwork for CLDP's project on microgrid development in Honduras and Guatemala. A microgrid is a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or in conjunction with a country's main electrical grid. As Guatemala and Honduras face challenges with high electricity costs and low levels of rural electrification, microgrids offer a promising solution. CLDP’s project seeks to bolster both business development and rural electrification by working towards two main goals. First, the project aims to strengthen the regional energy market by building institutional capacity in Honduras’ and Guatemala’s individual markets to increase private investment in microgrids. The second goal of the project is to lower energy prices, increase regional energy security, and improve rural electrification by assisting local and municipal governments to create regulatory frameworks for distribution of power generated by micro-grids.

Both of these projects are integral to furthering the goals laid out in the U.S. Strategy for Engagement Central America by increasing economic opportunity in the region. Improved economic health should lead to reduced crime, and therefore address a major driver of mass immigration. In short, U.S. security is intimately linked to the security and prosperity of Central America.

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