Panama City 6 May 2020-- Last week the Central American Social Integration Council (CIS) representing 8 countries of the region, made up of National Ministries in charge for social development and inclusion  adopted a Declaration committing to rapidly prepare a regional Plan for Social Reconstruction in response to the COVID19 crisis.

This Declaration, the first of this kind approved globally by a regional grouping, comes at a moment when the pandemic, despite the relatively low rate of infection, is already stretching the fragile health and social protection systems in the region while anticipating the devastating socio-economic impact. 

High level of multidimensional vulnerabilities and informality is expected to amplify the effects of the COVID19 in countries where trade dependency from the US demand as well as reduction in foreign investments and remittance will translate into unemployment and escalation of poverty, jeopardizing the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.

The proposed Plan for Social Reconstruction will focus on three main pillars being social protection, employment and addressing vulnerabilities in informal settlements including through comprehensive urban regeneration approaches to leverage the opportunity of sustainable urban development as a driver for economic recovery.

With the Plan the Ministers of the region recognize the need to articulate social protection measures and employment with spatial segregation of informal settlements and poor neighbourhoods, addressing localized urban vulnerabilities with a view to a full socio-economic integration.

Recognizing the support received from the UN system particularly by FAO, ILO, UN-Habitat and the WFP, as well as other key partners like the Eurosocial + Program, IDB (Interamerican Development Bank), UHPH (Urban Housing Practitioners Hub) and the Cities Alliance, the declaration is also a call for strengthening regional coordination and integration to advance poverty alleviation and inequality reduction in line with the Agenda 2030.

Link to the declaration in Spanish