SAN PEDRO, Belize – The Governors of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) member countries in Central America and the Dominican Republic have gathered in Belize on February 20 and 21 for their 36th annual meeting.
In his first meeting with the Governors of this region, the new IDB President Ilan Goldfajn shared his vision for expanding the Bank’s contribution to their countries’ development and heard their perspectives on the priorities that should guide the agenda in upcoming years. IDB experts and guest specialists participated in the meeting’s work sessions to foster dialog about the current international context, challenges hindering more inclusive and sustainable growth and policy options for overcoming short- and medium-term challenges. The event comes on the road to the Annual Meeting of the IDB and IDB Invest on March 16–19 in Panama.
According to the latest IDB activities report, Creating Opportunities and Building Resilience: Priorities for Sustainable Recovery, the economy of Central America and the Dominican Republic is recovering slightly faster than that of other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, driven by a rebound in tourism, remittances, and agricultural exports. However, higher food prices are exacerbating food insecurity and imperiling progress toward eliminating poverty.
At the meeting, the new IDB president emphasized that in a context of more frequent and more severe crises, Central America and the Dominican Republic should prioritize policies that foster resilience, with people’s welfare as their core focus. “At the IDB Group, we will channel our assistance toward effectively erasing the obstacles to sustainable and inclusive growth,” said President Goldfajn. “We will strive to advance social development, intensifying our efforts to reduce poverty and food insecurity. We will also help countries combat climate change, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and enhance their natural disaster risk management systems. Partnering with the private sector is also a key component of our strategy for mobilizing resources and fostering development in the region.”
Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals
In 2022, the IDB Group provided $4.166 billion in financing to the countries of Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. These efforts have allowed the IDB to continue providing support to the region that has centered on bolstering income for the poorest sectors, closing gaps in the quality and coverage of basic services, boosting the productivity of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), enhancing the efficiency of the public sector, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. All these actions have moved the region closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Over the last six years of its work with the public sector, the IDB Group has helped improve the quality of healthcare for 24 million people in this region. Additionally, 7.5 million students have benefited from projects in education, 800,000 households now have access to water and sanitation or electricity, and 98,000 MSMEs have received financing.
In speaking to the Governors about the private sector, President Goldfajn underscored his commitment to continuing to improve the IDB Group’s value proposition. IDB Invest has worked to strengthen the region’s productive fabric and job markets — especially for SMEs and their distribution chains — and facilitate foreign trade. Meanwhile, IDB Lab, the Bank’s innovation laboratory, focused on financial inclusion for vulnerable groups, digitization at MSMEs, and training and jobs programs.
For more information about the IDB Group in Central America and the Dominican Republic, download the 2022 Activities Report here.
About the IDB Group
The IDB Group is the leading source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps improve lives by providing financial solutions and development expertise to public- and private-sector clients. The Group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for more than 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth. Take our virtual tour.