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IDB, Venezuela sign two loans totaling $52.5 million for child care and agriculture technology

FORTALEZA, Brazil - Venezuela’s Finance Minister Nelson Merentes and Inter-American Development Bank President Enrique V. Iglesias today signed documents for two loans totaling $55.2 million to promote child care and strengthen Venezuela’s National Institute of Agricultural Research.

The signing ceremony took place during the IDB’s Annual Meeting.

Child care

An IDB loan of $30 million will enable the Ministry of Health and Social Development, acting through the Office of the Undersecretary for Social Development, to carry out the Child and Adolescent Protection Act, which came into effect in April 2000.

The law is based on priorities and agreements adopted in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child organized by the United Nations in 1989.

The effort will include, among other steps, administrative coordination, decentralization of resources, participation of the civil society in projects, and institutional capacity-building in regional and municipal governments.

The IDB loan will support the work of agencies in the Child and Adolescent Protection System and will fund projects consistent with the new institutional framework.

The 230 projects to be financed by the program will include those in the areas of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, child abuse and work exploitation.

Agricultural technology

A $22.5 million IDB loan will help transform the National Institute of Agricultural Research and transform it into a more dynamic agency that will lead the national effort to boost farm productivity and economic diversification.

The financing will enable the institute, known as INIA, to adopt modern technologies, accredit laboratories, and consolidate the development and application of updated information systems.

The project will give the institute greater capacity to respond to the demand and needs of agricultural producers, assisting them in achieving greater crop yields, lower losses from pests and diseases, better quality products and enhanced environmental protection practices.

To ensure INIA’s sustainability, a Fund will be created and linkages will be promoted with producer organizations and other research institutions.

A training program will upgrade the institute’s staff and equip it to deal with the changing environment of agricultural production to help the country diversify its economy.

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