WASHINGTON, — The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a multi-million dollar special grant facility to support operations that help countries in Latin America and the Caribbean integrate migrants into local communities and contribute to their development.
The Washington-based financial institution said that the initiative is in response to “unprecedented and sudden intraregional migration flows impacting countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The IDB said it will use the grant facility in combination with economic and social development loan operations to help receiving countries provide better access to health, education, housing, security, and other services in communities struggling to integrate new arrivals.
Under the approved proposal, the IDB said it will provide US$100 million from its facility, with additional resources expected to be provided by the donor community. These grant funds will be combined with regular IDB loan operations of US$800 million.
The IDB said the grant facility was created in 2007 for dealing with special circumstances arising in specific countries or projects.
“Over time, migrants can help make communities more dynamic and prosperous,” said Antoni Estevadeordal, the Special Advisor at the IDB who coordinates the initiative.
However, if not adequately managed the short term, these inflows can strain public services and fiscal budgets, impact labor markets and generate political tensions.
“This initiative “will help local and national governments implement comprehensive development programs that facilitate the social integration of migrants into communities, so that they can actively contribute to their overall well-being. In a nutshell, the bank wants to help turn this challenge into an inclusive development opportunity for our region,” he added.