Background Papers

Jan 8, 2004

The IDB Group

  • The IDB Group comprises the Inter-American Development Bank, the Multilateral Investment Fund, and the Inter-American Investment Corporation, all with headquarters in Washington, D.C.

  • The IDB was created in 1959 to help accelerate the economic and social development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and to promote regional integration.

  • To achieve its goals, the Bank uses its own resources and those it raises on financial markets. Its ordinary capital is $101 billion. The Bank also has a concessional lending facility, the $10 billion Fund for Special Operations, whose resources are limited to the region's weakest economies. The Bank administers numerous trust funds, created by countries or groups of countries, whose resources are used for technical cooperation and other objectives.

  • The Bank has 46 member countries: 26 borrowing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the United States, Canada, 16 European countries, as well as Israel and Japan. The Latin American and Caribbean countries hold a majority of the institution's shares and voting power.

  • The IDB's highest authority is its Board of Governors, which meets annually to review Bank operations and make major policy decisions. The Board of Executive Directors (14 office holders and 14 alternates) is responsible for the conduct of Bank operations.

  • The Bank's president is chosen by the governors for a five-year term. President Enrique V. Iglesias, a citizen of Uruguay, was elected in 1988, re-elected in 1993, 1998 and 2003.

  • As of the end of 2003 the Bank had approved loans totaling $129 billion for projects in such areas as energy, agriculture, transportation and communications, environment, poverty reduction, health, economic and social reform, state modernization, urban development, education, science and technology, competitiveness and trade, tourism, small enterprises and integration. These operations include direct loans and guarantees, without government guarantees, for private sector projects in infrastructure, capital market development and trade.

  • In 2003 the Bank approved $6.81 billion in loans and guarantees and $63.6 million in grants for technical cooperation. Technical cooperation mainly supports institutional strengthening and studies critical to project preparation.

  • The IDB administers the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), which promotes private sector growth, workforce capacity building and the strengthening of small and micro businesses. In 2003, the MIF completed 10 years of operations during which it approved more than $900 million for 585 projects for a total cost of $1.6 billion, including local counterpart funds. In 2003 the MIF approved 68 projects for a total of $71 million.

  • The Inter-American Investment Corporation, an autonomous Bank affiliate, supports small- and medium-sized private enterprises with loans and equity investments not requiring government guarantee. In 2003 the IIC approved 26 transactions in 15 countries and regional operations for a total of $194 million.

  • Priority areas for IDB support include social equity and poverty reduction, competitiveness and economically sustainable growth, state modernization, regional integration, and private sector growth.

    New initiatives

  • The IDB continued to develop new and more flexible financial instruments and tools during 2003 to achieve improved development results from its operations. Among the new measures was the adoption of a pilot program for a performance-driven loan instrument in which disbursements would be contingent on measurable results.

  • The Bank adopted a new capital adequacy policy with a new lending rate methodology, which contributed to a decision to reduce and stabilize lending rates, making pricing of the IDB resources very competitive among the multilateral lending institutions.

  • The Board of Governors approved the expansion of the mandate of the private sector window of the Bank to include the financing of international trade-related activities.

  • The Board of Executive Directors approved a conditional credit line for investment projects prepared by executing agencies with a good track record to give them access in a more expeditious manner to new financing.

  • To strengthen its evaluation mechanisms, the Bank established a Development Effectiveness Office.

  • An Office of Institutional Integrity was established to bolster the IDB's internal control mechanisms.

  • Steps were taken to upgrade the Bank's procurement procedures.

Hello, Welcome to the IDB!

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