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IDB, Colombia, sign letter of intent for $60 million to support peace process by investing in social infrastructure

FORTALEZA, Brazil - The Finance minister of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and the Inter-American Development Bank President Enrique V. Iglesias today signed a letter of intent to carry out a program financed with an IDB loan of $63 million loan to support the building and rehabilitation of social infrastructure and services in small, low-income communities that have suffered from violence and civic strife.

The resources will support investments to enhance community management capacity, build works, and improve health, education and social development in 252 municipalities of less than 10,000 inhabitants whose social infrastructure has been negatively affected by violence.

Approximately 20 percent of the projects will finance social infrastructure works to benefit indigenous peoples and 10 percent will benefit the Afro-Colombian population.

Communities that qualify for assistance are required to have democratically elected officials and to have complied with fiscal reform legislation.

Mechanisms for the participation of ordinary citizens and civil society will be included in the selection, design and implementation of the projects.

The program is designed to organize and strengthen the community and rebuild the social fabric, restore destroyed or damaged social infrastructure, strengthen local government and facilitate the delivery of assistance programs.

Investments in social infrastructure to low-income communities are a government priority to reduce the causes of violence and bring about peace. The IDB strategy for Colombia ­ reflected in this program - is to assist in reducing poverty, building sound public institutions, decentralizing, and promoting sustainable growth.

The IDB participated in the design of the current program through technical assistance and the financing of a pilot project. The IDB has supported the peace processes by encouraging and undertaking social investments for low-income communities in other countries of the region, including Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru.

The program will be carried out by an executing unit established within the Social Solidarity Network.

The Administrative Department of the Office of the Presidency will have overall responsibility for the program through the Investment Fund for Peace.

The total cost of the program is $90 million.

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