The Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama and the World Bank signed a $80-million loan agreement, for the execution of a project to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Development Plan for Indigenous Peoples (Pdipi) of the country, informed an official source.
The objective of the project is to strengthen the governance capacity and coordination of the indigenous authorities and the government to plan and implement, jointly, development programs aligned with their priorities and vision, as well as to improve the quality of the provision of public services in these territories.
The project has a multisectoral scope with interventions in the areas of governance, education, health, water and sanitation, said the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).
The intention is aimed at strengthening the long-term capacity of the Government and the indigenous authorities to work, as partners, in their development and ensure inclusion and opportunities for indigenous groups.
"This project is of great importance because it will continue to promote the inclusion of indigenous peoples in the definition and implementation of development processes in their territories," Jorge Familiar, Vice President of the World Bank (WB) for Latin America and the Caribbean, said at the signing of the loan contract.
Familiar added that "it is an innovative project that supports a model of integral development proposed by indigenous peoples and agreed upon with the government.
The project will help the execution of the (Pdipi) that contains three components: strengthening of governance and multisectoral coordination for the development of indigenous peoples; improving the quality and cultural relevance of the delivery of services and infrastructure in the aboriginal territories; and project management, monitoring and evaluation.
This plan represents, for the first time in Panamanian history, a national consensus among the 12 indigenous governance structures based on its own vision of development.
In addition, the objectives, measures and indicators for the next 15 years are described in this plan to be executed by the MEF. These objectives are organized around three pillars: political and legal, economic and social bases.
The Minister of Economy and Finance of Panama, Dulcidio De La Guardia, said the project demonstrates the National Government's commitment "to help the development of indigenous peoples".
The Panamanian Minister of Government, Carlos Rubio, said that they are working to expand and restore rights, especially of indigenous peoples.
“We have a commitment and a historical responsibility to fulfill in generating greater and better spaces of equality," said Rubio.
On March 15, a total of 190 countries represented in the WB's executive board voted in favor of the project, which has been designed by the Panamanian Ministry of Government (MinGob) and in coordination with the National Indigenous Peoples' Development Board of Panama.
The project, which will last 5 years and should start at the end of 2018, involves the financing from the WB for $80 million through the loan, and $5 million from the National Government.
The World Bank said the project will directly benefit some 200,000 indigenous Panamanians. EFE