IDB, Central America line up $2.5 billion of infrastructure plans

Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, speaks next to Paraguayan Finance Minister Santiago Pena at BID's Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in Asuncion, Paraguay April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Valdez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have lined up $2.5 billion to fund infrastructure projects, the IDB said on Wednesday.

The plans would use up to $750 million of funds from the IDB plus commitments for another $1.75 billion from private and public sources in the three countries, known as the Northern Triangle, the IDB said in a statement.

The announcement came ahead of a meeting on Thursday and Friday in Miami of top U.S., Mexican and Central American officials to discuss how to cut migration and improve conditions in the three poor countries that have seen rising violence.

“The key over the next five years will be to tap the private sector to help build critical infrastructure that will generate jobs, improve competitiveness, and create the conditions that encourage people to build prosperous lives in their homelands,” IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said in the statement.

The Miami summit was an initiative of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly, who helped former President Barack Obama design his Alliance for Prosperity that sought to curb Central American migration with development projects and security spending to crack down on local gangs.

Billionaire Carlos Slim’s charity will fund initiatives to help tackle crime in Central America and find new ways of slowing migration, according to a draft document about the summit seen by Reuters.

Reporting by Michael O’Boyle; Editing by Richard Pullin