IOM CONTRIBUTES TO MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT IN EL SALVADOR
Representatives from IOM, USAID, El Salvador’s Presidency and municipal Mayors of San Miguel, Usulután and Zacatecoluca inaugurated this week a series of public areas destined to the generation of reintegration and local development options that will directly benefit 9,000 Salvadoran families, among them returned migrants.
The official events were attended by the Ambassador of the United States in El Salvador, Jean Manes; USAID’s Director, Peter Natiello; the Salvadoran Undersecretary of Governance, Antonio Morales; IOM’s Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy; the Municipal Mayor of Zacatecoluca, Francisco Hirezi; the Municipal Mayor of San Miguel, Miguel Pereira and the Acting Municipal Mayor of Usulután, Salvador Lovo.
The infrastructure works will allow the promotion of community coexistence, leisure and recreation, promoting social cohesion and community strengthening, from a preventive approach to irregular migration and social violence.
"We are convinced that the challenges we tackle in the face of the discrimination suffered by returnees must be addressed from different angles. The generation of dignified environments in these communities, where returned and migrant populations can establish links that help them reintegrate, is one of those angles for which it becomes a priority for us. Therefore, we contribute to the creation of open, recreational and sports areas”, said IOM’s Chief of Mission, Jorge Peraza-Breedy.
"We recognize that the community has many capacities to advocate, fight and work to make their projects a reality; and this place can help bring their ideas and initiatives to life, giving them a space to dialogue, to organize and to discuss the possibilities that are before you all”, said Ambassador Manes.
The intervened buildings are the municipal gymnasium and Juanita Guerrero Park in Usulután; the communal house of Colonia Santa Inés in San Miguel; community house of Colonia Buena Vista and soccer field at Hato Hasbún Sports Complex in Zacatecoluca.
In parallel, IOM works closely with municipal governments and communities to ensure that infrastructure works respond to local development needs with a reintegration approach. For this reason, focus groups are organized with women, relatives of migrants and returnees, adolescents and young people to define the processes to be applied for reincorporation. Based on these findings, training will be provided to strengthen knowledge of migration and reintegration.
With the constructions in these three departments, a total of 85 communities benefit directly with an investment of almost half a million dollars in the framework of the Return and Reintegration in the Northern Triangle of Central America project, executed by the IOM with USAID funds and contributions from municipal governments.
IOM works, together with municipalities and communities, in towns that have high rates of returnees and have been identified as priorities by the government through the El Salvador Seguro Plan. According to data from the General Directorate of Immigration and Foreign Affairs (DGME), between January and September of 2017, San Miguel received 1,058 returnees, making it the municipality with the highest number of returns nationwide so far this year. Meanwhile, Usulután received 558, which positioned it in fourth place, and Zacatecoluca welcomed 274 returned migrant people.