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IDB announces $16 million for institutional strengthening of capital district of Bogota, Colombia

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $16 million loan to strengthen the management and organization of the Capital District of Bogota, Colombia, and to promote efficiency and improvements in the delivery of services.

The program will provide resources to reorganize the district's most important services, tighten the planning and budget process, improve land-use planning and the beneficiary selection system and promote citizen's participation and transparency in local government.

In addition, service to the public will be modernized through the upgrading of district services centers, where citizens, particularly low-income groups, will receive better attention in dealing with utilities and other agencies and will be offered a greater selection of activities that can be accomplished with one stop.

Greater responsibility will be delegated to the local level through community action groups, and virtual service systems will be established to make use of the Internet and advanced information systems to speed up the administrative process and services.

The program reflects the IDB's strategy for Colombia to support decentralization and modernization of the state.

The loan is for 20-year term, with a 3½-year grace period, at the variable interest rate, now 6.97 percent. Local counterpart funds total $10.7 million.

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