Historical Milestones 1979-1988


  • Emergency financings: $61.5 million to Nicaragua for agriculture and industry, which were at a virtual standstill in the wake of the civil conflict, as well as $87.5 million in assistance to the Dominican Republic for agriculture, industry and infrastructure, which were sectors severely damaged by hurricanes, plus a disbursement of $50 million from a prior loan.
  • Environmental protection policy adopted.
  • Amount of loans approved reaches $2.051 billion, surpassing for the first time the $2 billion mark during a single fiscal year.


  • Fifth Increase in Resources goes into effect: $8 billion in the authorized capital (ordinary plus interregional), $600 million of which is payable in cash, and $1.750 billion in the FSO.
  • Suriname and Portugal join the Bank.
  • The governors decide that at least 50 percent of Bank loans must benefit low-income people.
  • Cooperation agreement to support the Financial Fund for the Development of the Plate River Basin (FONPLATA).
  • After 20 years of operations, Bank financing totals almost $18 billion and supports the following sectors by volume of lending: energy, agriculture and fishing, industry and mining, transportation and communications, public health and environment; education, science and technology; and urban development.


  • The IDB warns about deterioration in external accounts of the region, the increase in external debt, and the growing cost of debt servicing in an unfavorable international climate.
  • Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in Madrid, first one held outside the Americas.
  • First-of-a-kind loan for soil conservation, for $4.4 million to the Scotland district of Barbados.
  • Financing, which totals $32 million, provided to the BCIE for electric integration between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and between Guatemala and El Salvador.
  • Total accumulated Bank loans exceed $20 billion, which finance projects whose cost totals $80 billion.


  • The Bank launches support program for industrial recovery, placing special emphasis on countries with limited markets. Loans to Bolivia, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
  • Global loans totaling $180 million to Chile for a multisector credit program, and a loan for $120.5 million for a global urban infrastructure program. The country was facing a financial crisis.
  • The Bank sets up a working group to coordinate technical and financial assistance and support to five Central American countries and Panama.


  • Sixth Increase in Resources, $15.703 billion: $15 billion in the authorized capital ordinary and interregional), with $675 million payable in cash, and $703 in the FSO.
  • Intermediate Finance Facility created to defray some of the interest cost on ordinary capital loans granted to less developed countries.
  • Special program adopted to speed up influx of resources into more economically troubled countries.
  • $130 million loan to Brazil for export industry development.
  • First financing, for tax reform, $4.4 million, benefiting Central American countries, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
  • Environmental Committee created.
  • Total loans approved for $3.045 billion, exceeding for the first time the $3 billion mark in one fiscal year, and bringing total aggregate lending to $25 billion.


  • Loans for industrial recovery grow to $580 million, out of a total of $695 million earmarked for industry and mining.
  • A $350 million loan to Venezuela approved to complete the Guri dam and its transmission system, as well as $64 million for agricultural credits, and $34.3 million for large-scale forestry development.
  • Central American countries ask the Bank to look into forming a consultative group to coordinate technical assistance to the subregion.
  • Thirty-four member countries of the IDB complete negotiations to establish the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC).


  • A $58.5 million loan to Brazil for a highway linking Porto Velho, Rondônia, and Rio Branco, Acre, which eventually would lead to the adoption of important measures for the protection of the environment and the indigenous people who were affected, as well as consultations with these peoples.
  • First loans for higher education distance learning: to Colombia for $37.5 million.
  • First public issue of bonds in the European monetary unit (Ecu).
  • After its first 25 years of operations, the IDB approved more than $31 billion worth of loans for projects whose cost totaled more than $106 billion. In descending order of size, the sectors that benefited were energy; agriculture; industry and mining; transportation and communications; sanitation and health; education, science and technology; and urban development.
  • Accumulated disbursements over the first 25 years surpassed $20 billion.


  • Norway joins the Bank.
  • A $319.3 million loan is approved for a hydroelectric plant and transmission lines in Pehuenche, Chile. The project includes important environmental protection components.
  • The Bank moves into its new headquarters at 1300 New York Avenue, NW Washington, D.C., two blocks away from the White House.
  • The charter of the IIC takes legal effect. The governors of the IIC elect the members of the first Board of Executive Directors.


  • Antonio Ortiz Mena is called back to Mexico and tenders his resignation on December 17, effective on February 29, 1988, but which takes effect on March 15, 1988.
  • The first loan for purely environmental purposes: $6.3 million to Ecuador for reforestation in the Sierra Central, with components that benefit indigenous groups.
  • Agreement with the Export-Import Bank of Japan that will provide parallel financing for IDB projects that are not linked to the procurement of goods and services from Japan.
  • Merger of ordinary capital and interregional capital.
  • Policy adopted to promote the role of women in development.


  • Enrique V. Iglesiasis elected president. He takes office on April 1.
  • Japanese institutions approve $377.4 million in cofinancing for IDB projects in Chile, Colombia and Venezuela.
  • Japan Special Fund created to provide nonreimbursable technical assistance.
  • Bonds in Japanese yen for the equivalent of $478.1 million are sold, more than half of the total amount of bond issues for the year.
  • Spain establishes the Quincentennial Fund with $500 million to commemorate the encounter between America and Europe.
  • Emergency assistance to the many countries that were affected by natural disasters.
  • Gunther H. Muller is appointed General Manager of the IIC.