Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank will discuss next steps for securing a capital increase this week at IDB’s Annual Meeting, according to the bank’s president.
The gathering — which is taking place in Barranquilla, Colombia, as well as online — is the first time the governors have met in over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mauricio Claver-Carone, who assumed the IDB presidency in October, has pledged to secure a capital increase for the bank as countries in Latin America and the Caribbean — the region hit worst by the coronavirus — start to look toward recovery.
Claver-Carone told reporters Wednesday he doesn’t have any doubt he’ll be able to secure the additional money before the end of the single five-year term he’s pledged to serve.
Why it’s needed: Coming out of the pandemic, there are “historic opportunities” for Latin America to not only avoid a “lost decade” but to have a decade of growth, Claver-Carone said. The governors will discuss how IDB can help create jobs and eliminate poverty, while pushing forward the bank’s agenda on vaccinations, climate initiatives, and nearshoring.
Colombian President Iván Duque, who appeared at the press conference alongside Claver-Carone, said the Latin America and the Caribbean region needs an IDB that grows in proportion to its economies and that is the right size to respond to regional challenges.
The bill would increase Inter-American Development Bank annual lending to $20 billion and is supported by Democrat Bob Menendez and Republican Marco Rubio.
What’s next: The meetings are a time of “reflection” for IDB as it prepares to seek a capital increase, Claver-Carone said. He noted the bipartisan support for the move in the U.S. Congress, which he characterized as “huge recognition of the fundamental role the IDB not only plays but should play.”
As the institution’s largest shareholder, the U.S. will be required to sign off on a capital increase.