Italy is joining Norway, Canada and MasterCard as a partner and contributor to the Inter-American Development Bank’s Transparency Fund , a vital tool to help countries strengthen their anti-corruption and pro-transparency reforms.
The government of Italy has donated €1 million.
Since its launch in 2007, the Transparency Fund has provided technical assistance grants for over 50 projects worth over $18 million, benefiting 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The projects have supported government reform, accountability agencies and policy research in the areas of open government, control systems, financial integrity, and resource governance.
“We are deeply grateful to the government of Italy for its contributions and partnering with the Bank,” said Ana María Rodríguez, the manager for the IDB’s Department of Institutions for Development, which oversees the Fund. “This comes at a critical moment when notorious corruption cases have shaken citizen confidence in their governing institutions and triggered important reforms requiring technical support.”
“We firmly believe that our efforts in the past ten years have helped ensure governments are more transparent and accountable to their citizens, and that public watchdog institutions are better equipped to do their jobs,” Rodríguez added. “This has sent a strong signal to all actors that getting away with corrupt behavior is more difficult than ever.”
The Transparency Fund has emerged as a regional technical assistance leader. It has met or exceeded its targets, according to a recent evaluation , showing “remarkable progress” in enhancing the effectiveness of institutions.
Thanks in part to the work of the Transparency Fund, four countries in the region were removed from a grey list of countries compiled by the Financial Action Task Force, the main international body focusing on the prevention of money laundering. Brazil was able to greatly reduce the number of federal procurement projects with corruption red flags, and saved millions by stemming fraud in social programs.
The Fund’s grants have played a critical role in pushing forward important integrity reforms and mobilizing IDB loans on transparency and anti-corruption for over US$1.2 billion. These include operations to bolster transparency of resources from extractive industries in Colombia , to support the transparency and integrity agenda in Chile and Argentina , and to improve the capacity to prevent money laundering in Guatemala . These loans represent long-term commitments from countries to work on transparency and anti-corruption in partnership with the IDB.
The Transparency Fund was launched in 2007 with an initial donation from the government of Norway, which made additional contributions in 2012 and 2013. The government of Canada and the Mastercard Corporation joined as donors in 2014. The IDB also contributed with a donation to the Fund in 2011.
Italy is among the global leaders in this sector, particularly in areas such as prevention of money laundering, transnational bribery and tax evasion. It will help provide expertise to develop knowledge in this area.
About the Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
- Pablo Bachelet