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IDB hosts first meeting of international advisory group for preventive, alternative development of northern Ecuador

FORTALEZA, Brazil –The Inter-American Development Bank today hosted the first meeting of the International Advisory Group for the preventative, alternative development and social welfare program in the northern frontier region of Ecuador, with the presence of Ecuador’s President Gustavo Noboa and Foreign Minister Heinz Moeller.

Among the delegations attending the meeting, held at the site of the IDB’s Annual Meeting in Fortaleza, were representatives of Belgium, Canada, Chile, European Union, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United States, in addition to delegates from Ecuador, the IDB, the Andean Development Corporation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

During the session the participants approved the terms of reference for the functioning of the International Advisory Group and agreed to hold its next meeting in August of 2002. The IDB was designated coordinator of the Group.

The program, known as UDENOR, is designed to promote sustainable economic and social development and environmental protection in the northern Ecuadorian provinces and to underpin the nationwide effort to prevent the spread of drug consumption.

International donors made initial commitments totaling $266 million during a Consultative Group meeting held last year in Brussels to help finance the five-year, $434 million program. The Ecuadorian government is contributing $85 million.

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