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IDB President to visit Costa Rica, Panama, and Honduras

The President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, will visit Costa Rica, Panama, and Honduras March 1-4 to move forward to discuss the development agenda of the Central American countries.

The visit will also strengthen the Bank's commitment to support the region’s small and vulnerable countries. One of the goals established by the IDB’s Ninth General Capital Increase is to direct 35 percent of Bank lending to less developed countries by 2015 for programs and products tailored to the countries’ specific needs.

During his trip, Moreno will meet with Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica; Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama; and Porfirio Lobo, President of Honduras. The meetings will examine priority issues for 2011 and how the IDB can most effectively carry out its mission.

In Costa Rica, the IDB president will sign a memorandum of understanding with President Chinchilla to support the country in the area of citizen security. The agreement is to include a loan that will go before the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors to fund a program to prevent violence and increase social inclusion and improved security.

In Panama, Moreno will meet with President Martinelli and Lucy Molinar, Minister of Education, to discuss the government’s priorities and plans in the education sector and sign a loan agreement for $30 million to improve access and quality of education in the country’s indigenous areas is to be signed. Moreno will also inaugurate a school.

Moreno will also visit works underway to expand the Panama Canal. An IDB loan of $400 million awarded to the Panama Canal Authority in late 2008 will help to ensure long-term competitiveness of this waterway and its continued key role in international trade.

In Tegucigalpa, Moreno will meet with President Lobo to review the IDB’s portfolio of projects in that country and discuss areas for Bank support in the coming years. The visit to Honduras will take place during the XXV Meeting of IDB Governors of the Central American Isthmus and the Dominican Republic, set for March 3-4.

The Central American meeting is a forum for dialogue between the Bank’s governors, who are usually finance ministers and central bank governors, and IDB senior management. The meeting will take place prior to the Bank’s Annual Governors Meeting, which will be held in Calgary, Canada, at the end of March.

Participating in the Tegucigalpa meeting will be IDB governors for Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, as well as IDB executive directors and advisors for these countries. Participants will discuss the economic outlook and issues of interest to the Central American governments and the Dominican Republic, such as public security, tax reform, climate change, natural disasters, and regional integration.