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Argentina to implement federal public safety program with IDB support

Argentina will implement a public safety program aimed at curbing the robbery and murder rate in high crime incidence areas across the country with a $25 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

The country has the highest recorded robbery rate in the region: 1,096 thefts per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015, more than three times the regional average. While the intentional homicide rate remains relatively low compared with the region’s average, it is currently on the rise. Between 2008-2015 it rose by 10 percent, whereas the number of homicide victims grew more than 20 percent, going from 2.371 to 2.837 per year. Five districts (the provinces of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santa Fe and Mendoza and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires) account for about 70 percent of these crimes, which in turn are concentrated in a small number of areas within these districts. 

The loan’s goal is to help improve the efficiency of the country’s Safety Ministry and of provincial and municipal governments to reduce the theft and murder rates in priority areas. To this end, it is focusing on strengthening three key spheres of the safety policy. 

First, the program will boost up the criminal information quality and analysis with new hardware and software as well as technical assistance and training. It will fund yearly National Victims Polls, improve police records, and develop analytical tools, including a Unified Database. 

Second, it will increase police efficiency by strengthening the newly created Strategic Leadership Team Institute (ICCE, after its Spanish initials). The ICCE will feature federal and provincial police forces trained in coordinated teamwork to prevent, dissuade and investigate criminal activities. Additionally, it will train police officers and security division officials at local and provincial level in hot-spot patrolling action oriented to problem solving, criminal investigation, relations with the community and force integrity, as well as 1,400 new academic instructors. 

Thirdly, the program will strengthen local security management through the design and implementation of municipal safety plans oriented towards the reduction of robbery and murder rates in priority departments by means of interventions based on impact evidence. 

It will also include measures aimed at preventing violence against women, such as breakdown of criminal statistics by gender, training of local police forces on protocols to deal with domestic violence victims, and interventions to prevent intrafamily violence. 

The IDB $25 million loan is for a 25-year term at a LIBOR-based interest rate.

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The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives.