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International Cooperation and Development

Guatemala

Guatemala is the most populated countries in Central America with one of the highest demographic growth rates. It is classified as a lower middle-income country. It has the largest proportion of indigenous populations in Central America (over 40%) and 52% of the total population is younger than 20 years of age. The rate of child chronic malnutrition is the highest in Central America at 46% which can go as high as 80% in certain municipalities. Guatemala is affected by alarming rates of insecurity and violence and an increasing penetration of drug-trafficking cartels as the country is a major transhipment point for US and EU-bound cocaine. Public finance management is a major issue: Guatemala has the lowest tax revenue to GDP ratio (10.4%) in Latin America. The private sector is an extremely powerful lobby in Guatemala.

Thanks to prudent macroeconomic management, Guatemala has been one of the strongest economic performers in Latin America in recent years. Even so, it is one of the few countries in the region where poverty has increased in recent years.

Our priorities

The main strategic priorities of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) revolve around 3 sectors of intervention:

  • food security & nutrition

  • conflict Resolution, Peace and Security

  • competitiveness

The EU is committed to supporting Guatemala in addressing its main long-term challenges, including:

  • Combat widespread poverty and malnutrition, in particular in rural areas.

  • Reduce structural economic and social inequality, and discrimination.

  • Guarantee the respect of human rights, in particular for the most vulnerable groups such as indigenous people, women and children.

  • Ensure democratic human security, establish the rule of law and reducing impunity, including in transitional justice.

Our programmes

Guatemala has been allocated €166.8 million under the current Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) programming period (2014-2020). Other programmes benefiting Guatemala include:

  • Latin America regional MIP 2014-2020. Priorities: security-development nexus; good governance, accountability and social equity; inclusive and sustainable growth; env. sustainability and climate change; higher education via Erasmus+.

  • ALFA (higher education cooperation), Erasmus Mundus (university students and academics mobility), EUROsociAL (social cohesion and good governance), AL-INVEST (internationalisation of SMEs), URB-AL (urban local development), EUROCLIMA (climate change), RALCEA (water sector knowledge centres), LAIF (infrastructure), EURO-SOLAR (energy for isolated communities), @LIS (information society) and COPOLAD (cooperation on anti-drugs policies).

  • Guatemala benefits from the Food Security project (governance of small producers' networks) and is also eligible for WATERCLIMA (watershed and coastal management).

  • Guatemala is also benefiting from the Central America sub-regional programme (€120 million) for the MIP 2014-2020. Priorities: Regional economic integration; Security and rule of law; Climate change and disaster management.