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LatinNews Daily - 08 June 2021

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In brief: US announces funds for Guatemala

* Following a bilateral meeting in Guatemala with the country’s President Alejandro Giammattei, US Vice President Kamala Harris has announced various agreements. These include: the agreement that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide up to US$40m to launch the US-Guatemala Young Women’s Empowerment Initiative which will focus on creating opportunities for young, primarily indigenous women; an agreement whereby USAID will provide up to US$7.5m over three years, and leverage at least US$22.5m from the private sector, to support entrepreneurs and innovators – including women, youth, and indigenous people – who are creating technology-driven, market-led solutions to development challenges in regions of high out-migration; a US$19.5m loan from the US government’s International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to help build approximately 1,800 homes and associated infrastructure in Guatemalan cities of Quetzaltenango (Quetzaltenango department), Cobán (Alta Verapaz), and Fraijanes (Guatemala), which have high rates of out-migration. The US also announced that DFC will seek to invest US$6m in a project to help expand a banana plantation which will help create hundreds of new jobs in central Guatemala; and an agreement whereby DFC will seek to provide a US$15m loan portfolio guaranty facility to help increase lending to local micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, particularly those operating in the western highlands and other areas of Guatemala where there are high rates of out-migration.