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IDB approves $25 million loan to strengthen Guatemala's National Statistics Institute

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $25 million loan to Guatemala to strengthen its National Statistics Institute (INE) and support a population and housing census and an agriculture census.

The program, which will be carried out by INE, seeks to improve the quality of statistical information needed to base decision-making both in the public and the private sectors. The resources will also help finance the preparations, the implementation and the analysis of the results of a population and housing census and an agriculture census.

Among the expected benefits of this project are the production of accurate and timely statistics that will support the design and implementation of public policies and programs for poverty reduction and natural disaster prevention and mitigation.

“The population and housing census will pay special attention to the coverage of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. To that end, the project will work with civil society to hire translators that will help achieve its goals,” said IDB project team leader Guillermo Rivera.

One of the project’s components seeks to strengthen and modernize the INE, an agency of Guatemala’s Economy Ministry, to help it meet the demand for credible data from other state agencies, the private sector and civil society.

Among other activities, this component is aimed at improving the Integrated System of Household Surveys, including the employment and income and the living standards surveys. Other key short-term indicators such as the indices of consumer prices, producer prices and construction prices will also be improved.

Another component will support activities related to the population and housing census and the agriculture census. These activities cover the various stages of the census, from the preparation to the data capturing to the processing, analysis and dissemination of information.

The United States Census Bureau will provide training for the staff that will carry out the Guatemalan census and the United Nations Population Fund will supervise procurement for census-related activities.

The program reflects the IDB strategy in Guatemala of supporting state modernization and poverty reduction through investments in social programs that promote equity and human capital development.

The IDB has supported the Program for the Improvement of Surveys and the Measurement of Living Conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is also backed by the World Bank and the U.N. Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean.

The loan was granted for a 20-year term, with a five-year grace period and at a variable annual interest rate, currently at 5.39 percent. Local counterpart funds will total $3.4 million.

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