Ecuador will improve its births registration and citizens’ identification with the creation of new documentation centers that will help virtually all Ecuadoreans to have ID cards within a four-year period under an initiative partially financed by a $78 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The project will help build, remodel, and equip 183 provincial and canton Civil Registration System agencies.
These moves will bring the Civil Registration Service closer to the population, reaching out to the country’s most distant and unprotected localities.
The funds will also support plans to set up more than 100 registry branches in maternity hospitals, allowing 37 percent of newborns to be registered at their place of birth, dramatically reducing infant under-registry and late-registry rates. Additionally, the program will contribute to install 58 kiosks at provincial and canton offices that will focus on issuing birth certificates.
It will help put in place 130 mobile teams to serve the most remote and vulnerable groups as well. These teams will provide all Civil Registration services, ensuring that persons with disabilities and inhabitants of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities get access to their ID cards.
With these moves, the rate of citizens who are 18 years of age or older and hold an identity card will go from the current 74 percent to at least 95 percent, facilitating the access of disadvantaged groups to the labor market and public services such as housing, health, education, and water and sanitation.
As part of the service’s enhanced efficiency, the average cost of obtaining a certificate will be cut to less than one-quarter and that of an ID card to less than half. The average waiting time in lines at registration offices will also be dramatically reduced.
The loan is for a 25-year term, with three years of grace, at a variable interest rate based on Libor. The Government of Ecuador will provide $15.5 million in additional local counterpart funds.
- Mildred Rivera