BARRANQUILLA, Colombia – The Inter-American Development Bank is set to approve $1.25 billion in loans to Colombia in 2021 for sustainable development, digital transformation and support for migrants from neighboring Venezuela, the Colombian government said on Friday.
“The IDB is a fundamental partner for Colombia for access to financing and technical assistance,” Colombian Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla said in a statement.
“Their support will be fundamental this year to advance on the agenda of economic reactivation and the program of loans we are formalizing today … reflects that,” he said.
The IDB loans will be earmarked for specific initiatives, including a project to digitalize the Colombian judicial system, efforts to improve logistics capabilities and funding for public-private partnerships.
Nearly half of the money from the IDB, $600 million, will be devoted to public policies aimed at promoting “green” economic growth and sustainable development, Carrasquilla said.
The IDB hailed Colombia’s recent adoption of legislation to protect Venezuelan migrants and agreed to help Bogota, not only with loans, but by seeking to drum up support from the international community.
The announcement of the loans to Bogota came amid the framework of the 61st annual meetings of the boards of governors of the IDB and IDB Invest, which are taking place virtually from Barranquilla under the leadership of IDB chief Mauricio Claver-Carone and Colombian President Ivan Duque.
Top policy-makers from across Latin America and the Caribbean are taking part in the five-day conference, focused on the role of the IDB in facilitating economic recovery from the damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants are talking about infrastructure, the digital economy, the potential for sustainable development in Amazonia, women’s empowerment and the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean into global supply chains.