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37.8% of Salvadorans live in poverty, and Bukele plans to attack this problem by generating employment
Last week Nayib Bukele, 37, was elected as president of El Salvador by the Nuevas Ideas-GANA-CD alliance, putting an end to the two-party system that had ruled the country for the past 30 years. Despite his young age, Bukele has experience as mayor of the town of Nuevo Cuscatlán and San Salvador, capital of the country. He is also a successful entrepreneur and holds the presidency of his father's advertising company. Below we present some of his proposals and economic projections.
According to the newspaper La Huella, the president-elect seeks to create jobs in different areas such as infrastructure, technology, sports and teaching, among others, through the "Mi Nueva Escuela" project, which, according to the newspaper, "seeks to reassess the design of educational facilities to achieve a positive impact on learning" and promises better working conditions for teachers. Thus, Bukele plans to incorporate early stimulation programs, specializations, short courses, and financial training, among others, into schools.
Bukele also seeks to launch the Dalton project, which consists of creating educational partnerships with different countries to achieve a total of 20,000 international university scholarships, under the requirement that beneficiaries return to El Salvador to practice their profession.
The challenge of corruption
Likewise, the president proposed combating corruption through the creation of an International Commission Against Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES), which must be monitored by the UN and the OAS. This proposal arises from the corruption scandals that echoed in previous governments.
For example, the former president (2009-2014) Mauricio Funes has several arrest warrants for corruption, and Antonio Saca, president between 2004 and 2009, is serving a 10-year sentence for corruption. It should be noted that this case has been controversial splashed the election of Bukele, as this was submitted to elections under the party created by Saca.
Bring development to the regions
Bukele also wants to bet on the economic growth of the northern strip of the country, where 75% of the extreme poverty of Salvadoran territory is concentrated. For this, the president proposes the modernization of agriculture through the use of technology and education in craft design, as well as economic support to community projects that seek to boost tourism.
It will also be invested in the Pacific strip where the reach of the Port of Acajutla will quadruple to encourage fishing and tourism. Also, it is planned to reopen the Pacific train (closed since 2002) for the transport of both cargo and passengers. In this way, it seeks to generate indirect and direct jobs, alleviate the vehicular crisis and, eventually, allow the displacement by land to Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Airports for development
Finally, the Pacific airport, which will unify the National Airport Network, promises to be the first green airport with an estimated 330,000 annual passengers by 2021. The newspaper La Huella, lists the objectives of this project as follows: "Increase the air traffic between the airports, through new transport routes to the eastern area, benefiting thousands of brothers living abroad and generating new sources of employment in the new air operations; detonate the potential of the eastern zone and position it again as a fundamental pillar of the national economy; exploit the hotel, ecotourism, archeology, gastronomy and sports development that the eastern region offers ".
These projects seek to reactivate the economy of a country that, according to the BBC, has 37.8% of its population in poverty and has one of the lowest economic growth rates in the region. This will be one of the biggest challenges for Bukele because, according to the BBC, "experts describe El Salvador's tax collection as deficient, which is why the country usually resorts to borrowing to complete a good part of its programs."
LatinAmerican Post | Sofía Carreño
Translated from "Las propuestas y retos económicos de Nayib Bukele, nuevo presidente de El Salvador"