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The IDB in brief

  • The Inter-American Development Bank was created in 1959 to help accelerate the economic and social development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and to promote regional integration.
  • To achieve its goals, the Bank uses its own resources and those it raises on financial markets. In 1994 its authorized capital was increased by $40 billion to $101 billion. In 1999 less developed countries eligible for assistance from the Fund for Special Operations, the concessional window of the Bank, received new support of $2.4 billion.
  • The Bank has 46 member countries: 28 in the Western Hemisphere, 16 in Europe, as well as Israel and Japan. The Latin American and Caribbean countries hold half the shares in the institution
  • The IDB's highest authority is its Board of Governors, which meets annually to review Bank operations and make major policy decisions. The Board of Executive Directors (14 office holders and 14 alternates) is responsible for the conduct of Bank operations.
  • The Bank's president is chosen by the governors for a five-year term. President Enrique V. Iglesias, of Uruguay, was elected in 1988, re-elected in 1993 and 1998.
  • As of the end of 2001 the Bank had approved loans totaling $110.6 billion for projects in such areas as energy, agriculture and fisheries, transportation and communications, industry and mining, environment, poverty reduction, public health, economic and social reform, government modernization, urban development, education, science and technology, export financing, tourism and small enterprises.
  • In 2001 the Bank approved $7.9 billion in loans and guarantees and $71 million in grants for technical cooperation.
  • Priority areasfor future IDB support include those that promote social equity and poverty reduction; economic reform and modernization of the state; regional integration; private sector growth; and environmental protection. Education, small business and microenterprise, and science and technology are also key areas for development.
  • The IDB administers the Multilateral Investment Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean (MIF), which finances activities to promote private sector growth, improve the investment climate in the region, and mitigate the social impact of economic reforms. In 2001 the MIF approved 66 projects for a total of $94 million.
  • The Inter-American Investment Corporation, an autonomous Bank affiliate, supports small- and medium-sized enterprises with loans and equity investments. In 2001 the IIC approved 19 transactions in 11 countries and regional operations for a total of $128 million.
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