Skip to main content

Implementation of 2011-2014 Costa Rica Country Strategy may reach $1.06 billion

Focus on transport, energy, public safety, innovation, early childhood development and social programs

The Board of Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank approved a new country strategy with Costa Rica, which has a financial framework for implementation in the range of $700 million to $1.06 billion for the period 2011–2014.

The strategy focuses on sectors where Costa Rica faces constraints for its growth, such as transport, energy, early childhood development and innovation. It also covers issues that have demanded priority attention in recent years, such as public safety and health. The sectors identified in the strategy are in line with the pillars of the Costa Rican government plan.


The low quality of the infrastructure, especially in transport, is one of the factors that affect Costa Rica’s productivity, increasing logistical costs and affecting business decisions regarding location, investment and production.

IDB interventions seek to improve the quality and maintenance of the national and cantonal road network as well as Costa Rica’s ports and airports. The goal is to reduce travel costs and times for both goods and persons. While highway infrastructure is one aspect of the plan, emphasis is also placed on public transport.

The IDB will support investments to modernize and strengthen Costa Rica’s energy sector. The goals include boosting the installed generation capacity from 2,412 megawatts (2009) to 2,677 megawatts in 2014, attracting more private sector producers by reinforcing the regulatory framework. The Bank also plans to promote the use of renewable energy sources, raising their participation from 1,787 megawatts to 1,972 megawatts and strengthening Costa Rica’s integration in the regional electricity market.

Public Safety

The strategy aims at containing violence and crime in Costa Rica, boosting the state’s capacity to prevent and fight organized crime. The program includes professionalizing and training police forces, developing social prevention programs for at-risk young adults and communities and promoting the social reintegration of lawbreakers.

Social Programs

Children from poor households face significant delays in their physical, emotional and cognitive development. Evidence shows that early childhood development interventions help break the intergenerational transmission of poverty. The IDB will provide support for strengthening a system to protect early childhood. Plans include building and equipping the National Child Care and Development Network and stimulating labor market access for the mothers it serves.

Costa Rica’s has very positive health indicators but budget limitations have affected the maintenance and expansion of the service network. The strategy seeks to update coverage to fit a new epidemiological profile based on an aging population, as well to expand access to health services for the poorest. It also aims to modernize and expand primary and tertiary health facilities and to improve the quality and organization of the hospital system.


The IDB will focus on strengthening and increasing the scope of financing instruments, including technological development funds and seed capital. It will promote the development of advanced human technical/scientific capital adapted to the demands of the business sector. The Bank will also support technology-transfer programs and activities that link universities with businesses, and plans to increase access to and the use of information and communication technologies in the productive sector.

Jump back to top