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IDB approves country strategy with Uruguay

Support totaling $1.8 billion for key areas such as transport, energy, water and sanitation, innovation and education

The Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today approved a new country strategy with Uruguay, which will have a financial plan for the period 2010–2015 of up to $1.8 billion for sovereign-guaranteed loans.

The strategy sets forth development challenges identified jointly by the Uruguayan authorities and the IDB. The response to these challenges will be to support activities to expand and improve the country’s transport infrastructure; increase its power supply; extend the sanitation system and the proper final disposal of solid waste; invest in science and technology based on the productive sector’s requirements; reduce poverty and indigence, focusing on children and young adults; cut the average school drop-out rate; update job training programs; increase international involvement in Uruguay; and strengthen public sector efficiency.

These strategic areas underwent a consultation process with civil society and private sector representatives. They contribute to the achievement of the main priorities and sector targets set for the IDB Ninth General Capital Increase (GCI-9), which calls for increased support for small, vulnerable countries; greater efforts to reduce poverty and inequality and specific actions regarding climate change, sustainable energy and environmental sustainability, as well as deeper regional cooperation and integration.

This strategy also foresees the IDB Group’s greater involvement in promoting private investment, particularly in the agro-industrial, transport, and energy sectors.

Since its founding in 1959, the IDB has traditionally been the main agent of international financing in Uruguay.

Uruguayan Economy Minister Fernando Lorenzo stated that “the IDB is a partner that has always supported this country in development matters, whether through project financing or through its research and knowledge-transfer capabilities.” Referring to the current strategy, Lorenzo said: “This is the result of a dialogue that brought together the opportunities for IDB support with our own government’s priorities.”

IDB Representative in Uruguay Tracy Betts commented: “With this strategy, the IDB Group reaffirms its commitment to continue working with Uruguay. The IDB seeks to maintain Uruguay’s high growth rates along with equity and social inclusion. This means uniting public and private efforts to further develop operations in the more traditional sectors such as agro-industry and transport. In addition, joint efforts will include areas such as the export of global services and technological innovation. The strategy also has elements that are more rigorous than those of past strategies, measuring effectiveness within the scope of the development objectives.”