The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has expanded its longstanding partnership with the Government of Japan through a partnership amendment signed with the Japanese Ministry of Finance (MOF) and a new Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The signings reflect reinvigorated commitment from Japan and the IDB Group to cooperate in pursuit of social and economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
“We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with the Government of Japan. These new agreements give the IDB Group more flexibility in the use of resources from Japan in a time of critical need for the region,” said IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone. “Expanding co-financing for quality infrastructure, disaster-risk reduction and global health coverage will be crucial in helping the region recover and prosper after COVID-19 and Hurricanes Eta and Iota, as will our extended partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency.”
Specifically, the IDB-MOF amendment has enlarged the scope of the Japan Special Fund (JSF) to make funds available to the IDB’s innovation laboratory, IDB Lab, and entity for the private sector, IDB Invest, thereby enabling the region’s private sector to access JSF grant resources. The new amendment also expands the Japan Quality Infrastructure Initiative (JQI), established under the umbrella of the JSF in 2016, to include a focus on natural disaster resilience and universal health coverage. The amendment was signed by IDB President Claver-Carone and Japan’s State Minister of Finance Kenji Nakanishi.
“Given the renewed importance of preparedness for future pandemics and natural disasters, Japan welcomes the agreement with the IDB Group to specify ‘global health and universal health coverage’, and ‘resilience against natural disasters’ as priority areas of the JSF, in addition to the current focus on quality infrastructure investment,” remarked Japanese State Minister Nakanishi. “Japan will continue cooperating with the IDB Group through the JSF, and actively contributing to promote sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
In addition, the new MOC signed by the IDB and JICA extends the partners’ collaboration for five additional years through March 2026, reaffirming JICA’s $3 billion commitment and expanding the scope and reach of the partners’ CORE Program, now rebranded as the Cooperation for Economic Recovery and Social Inclusion to reflect the new areas of collaboration. It builds on a decade of particularly active cooperation ushered in by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2011, which pledged cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency and led to the creation CORE Program in 2012. The MOC was signed by IDB President Claver-Carone, IDB Invest CEO Scriven, and JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka.
“JICA has been working with the IDB since the late 1980s. We look forward to working together more intensively and to ensuring this expanded cooperation advances social inclusion and the region’s productive and resilient economic recovery from COVID-19,” remarked JICA President Kitaoka. “The people of Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean are deeply connected, based on the trust and mutual respect developed mainly through the contributions of Japanese immigrants. I hope that this new agreement will contribute to the region’s socio-economic development and strengthen the longstanding relationship between Japan and the region’s countries.”
Established in 1988, the JSF has been a critical platform for Japan-IDB collaboration that has financed upwards of 650 projects for $400 million. The Fund is managed by the IDB and financed by the Government of Japan. In addition, since 2011, co-financing provided by JICA has reached approximately $1.5 billion for energy and water and sanitation projects in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. JICA has since expanded ties with IDB Invest through a MOC signed in 2018, while deepening cooperation with IDB Lab through co-financing, joint studies, and other activities.
About the IDB Group
The IDB Group is the leading source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps to improve lives by providing financial solutions and development expertise to public- and private-sector clients. The Group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth.
About the Japan Special Fund
In 1988, the Government of Japan established the Japan Special Fund (JSF) to promote social and economic growth in IDB borrowing member countries. Along with its Poverty Reduction program, the JSF provides funding for technical cooperation activities. By the end of 2020, the Government of Japan had contributed to the development of Latin America and the Caribbean through these funds with 650 technical cooperation projects, for a total of $400 million, in all the borrowing member countries of the IDB.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), an incorporated administrative agency established in 2003, aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation as well as the sound development of Japanese and global economy by supporting the socioeconomic development, recovery or economic stability of developing regions through providing bilateral aid in the form of Technical Cooperation, Japanese ODA Loans and Grant Aid.
Heleno Barbosa Taves de Gouvea