Mexico followed, in past years, what appeared to be a textbook formula for expanding access to and use of digital financial services for its citizens. And yet, less than half of its adult population reported having a bank account only two years ago, which is lower than the Latin American average of 55.1 percent, and significantly below the upper-middle-income country average of 73.1.
CGD Policy Blogs
Gender equality has been touted as a political priority by the Biden administration, as demonstrated through the establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council, as well as its commitment to unveiling a whole-of-government strategy to advance gender equity and equality later this year. Here we make the case for why US immigration policy needs a gender-intentional approach, and how the administration should apply this approach towards policy in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
More than 5.5 million Venezuelans have fled socio-economic and institutional collapse, high levels of insecurity, human rights violations, and political persecution at home. It is one of the largest displacement situations in the world, second only to Syria.
As Special Envoy Ricardo Zúñiga traveled to El Salvador this week, the number of people arriving to the US-Mexico border from the Northern Triangle is at its highest level in at least 15 years. Among the three Northern Triangle countries, El Salvador is the least represented among those arriving at the border. Yet, the rate of Salvadorans illegally migrating to the U.S. still vastly exceeds those who use lawful pathways.
As the new US administration seeks to manage a large spike in migrants at the southern border, it has signaled plans to try to influence migrant decision-making in Central America through extensive public information campaigns.
This week, the Inter-American Development Bank’s governors gather for their annual meeting. Much is at stake as the region reels under the compound crises of COVID-19 and recession. But none of this urgency is yet evident in the IDB’s public case to its member countries.
Today the IDB is again making the case for a capital increase to its shareholders. Yet, despite an unfolding crisis that threatens development progress in Latin America to a degree that eclipses the Global Financial Crisis, talk of a financing cliff at the bank is absent from its appeal for more capital. That’s because a spike in crisis financing has yet to materialize in IDB’s lending numbers.
Last week, President Biden issued a new Executive Order aiming, among other things, to “enhance access for individuals from the Northern Triangle to visa programs.” This is a big opportunity for the United States. People from this region need access to lawful migration pathways, and it is now the policy of the U.S. government to build them. The Administration can build those pathways today by signing bilateral labor agreements with Northern Triangle governments.
COVID-19 has hit Latin America hard on the health, economic, and social fronts. Week after week, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico are among the countries with the highest number of COVID cases, and Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru among those with the highest deaths per hundred thousand inhabitants.
The Government of Colombia has been incredibly generous towards this population, enacting several rounds of work permits which granted the right to work, move, and formalize their status. They should be celebrated for these moves, while supported to overcome the remaining constraints to full economic inclusion.