Canadian international assistance in Guatemala

Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America, counting more than 16 million inhabitants. Despite housing the region’s largest economy, 59 % of Guatemalans live in poverty and 24 % in extreme poverty. This poverty takes place primarily in rural, Indigenous areas, and affects women and youth the most. Guatemala also has one of the highest levels of income inequality in Latin America, and one of the highest levels of chronic malnutrition in the world, and the highest in the Americas.

Guatemala ranks 126th out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index.

As is the case in other Northern Triangle countries of Central America (Honduras and El Salvador), the rule of law in Guatemala is challenged by the:

As a result, the country faces an extremely high rate of impunity and corruption, which threatens citizen security and contributes to systemic human rights violations.

More than 20 years after the signing of the 1996 Peace Accords ending 36 years of internal armed conflict, there is a political will for change. Recent commitments by the government to strengthen its justice system and increase active citizen participation demonstrate Guatemala’s commitment to democracy and transparency.

Our international development assistance

Search the Project Browser to see what Canada is doing to support development in Guatemala.

Canada’s international development program in Guatemala responds to the country’s priorities, especially as indicated in its long-term national development plan known as K’atun 2032. Canada additionally held consultations with the Government of Guatemala, local civil society organizations, cooperatives, think tanks and other stakeholders, as well as with the general public through a country-specific online survey. Canada’s international assistance work in Guatemala aims to address the root causes of poverty, inequality and insecurity and improve the lives of the most vulnerable, including youth, women and Indigenous groups. It focuses on three following areas: 

Governance, pluralism, diversity, and human rights

Key anticipated results:

Clean economic growth

Key anticipated results:

Health and rights of women and children

Key anticipated results:

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