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IDB approves $6,550,000 loan to Nicaragua for census and statistics system

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $6,550,000 soft loan to Nicaragua to strengthen its national census and statistics system.

The program will support the 2005 census, the continuity of household surveys and the strengthening of the Nicaraguan Statistics and Census Institute (INEC). A key goal is to generate timely, accurate and reliable data on the population and its living standards, with particular attention to racial and ethnic minorities.

The statistical data will help public sector institutions, the private sector and the donor community plan, implement and evaluate policies, programs and actions. The central government and municipalities will gain a crucial source of information to guide their social programs and focus spending on the poorest groups and areas.

The program will help Nicaragua prepare and carry out the 2005 census, along with a communication campaign to raise popular awareness of the importance of the census and encourage strong participation of indigenous and Afro-Caribbean communities. The U.S. Census Bureau will provide training to INEC technical staff.

To avoid the duplication of efforts and maximize resources, the program has been closely coordinated with donor nations and multilateral agencies that are providing nearly $5.3 million in cofinancing to strengthen the Nicaraguan census system. The supporters include Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Population Fund.

The new loan reflects the IDB’s strategy of supporting state modernization in Nicaragua to boost the efficacy of public sector spending and investments in poverty reduction and social inclusion programs.

The program draws on the experience and lessons from similar projects financed by the IDB in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Guatemala, as well as from two IDB-organized conferences on minorities’ participation in census.

The loan was granted for a 40-year term, with a 10-year grace period. Annual interest rates will be 1 percent during the first decade and 2 percent thereafter. Local counterpart funds for the program will total $1 million.


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