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IDB and Norway reaffirm transparency partnership for Latin America and the Caribbean

WASHINGTON, DC – To promote innovative transparency initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Norwegian government announced today that it will make an additional $5 million contribution to the Transparency Trust Fund (TTF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), bringing the country’s total contribution to $7.4 million for the 2013-2015 period.

For its part, the IDB announced it would provide funds of up to $7.5 million in grants supporting the Fund’s transparency work over the same period.

The announcement came in a meeting between Heikki Holmås, minister of International Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, and Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the IDB in Washington, DC.

The replenishment is aimed at consolidating IDB’s pro-integrity approach through technical cooperation grants, cutting-edge research, and dissemination of best practices in Latin American and the Caribbean.

Holmås, praised the cooperation with the Bank, “IDB is in the forefront of transparency and sharing for prosperity. I really welcome the efforts made over the past year to put these issues high on the IDB's agenda. We particularly welcome the Transparency Trust Fund's focus and the work on natural resource management, taxation and development tools,” he said.

The TTF was established in 2007 with an initial contribution from the government of Norway for approximately $5 million, which was increased by $1 million in 2011, and an additional $2.4 in 2012 provided by the IDB and Norway, respectively.

“We are grateful for Norway’s support and leadership on this important topic, and we are looking forward to strengthening our collaboration even further,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “More transparency translates into stronger institutions that better serve the citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

TTF projects address the incentives and capacities of relevant stakeholders to provide and request information, in order to enhance transparency and improve public service delivery. For example, in Brazil, a $626,000 project helped design and implement the Brazilian Public Expenditure Observatory enabling the country’s Office of the Comptroller General to detect irregularities, resulting in substantial fiscal savings. In Ecuador, the TTF supported the design and implementation of transparency standards, leading to a measurable increase in citizens’ understanding of the oil sector at the subnational level.

As of April 1, 2013, the TTF has approved a total of 16 technical cooperation projects benefiting 11 countries. Based on the region’s trend toward open government, key areas of the TTF include financial integrity, audit and control, and natural resources governance.

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