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World Bank approves loan for indigenous people’s project in Panama

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  • Thu, 03/22/2018 - 18:20
Pueblos Indígenas de Panamá
  • EFE

Representatives of the World Bank (WB) notified Panamanian Minister of Government María Luisa Romero on the approval of an 80-million-dollar loan for the Plan for the Integral Development of Indigenous People (PDIPI) in Panama, an official source said today.

Romero was officially notified by Country Manager of the WB Abel Camaño about the approval of the aforementioned loan by the bank's executive board, aimed at the implementation of the Integral Development Plan for Indigenous People.

The Minister of Government (MinGob) said that "it is very important to understand nationwide that the Plan for the Development of Indigenous People is a State policy".

Dianna Pizarro, who is a specialist in Social Development for the WB, said that the approval of this loan, in the short term, seeks to support the urgent needs highlighted by the indigenous authorities and their communities.

In the medium and long term, according to Pizarro, it is intended to strengthen and transform the way in which institutions and government work, plan and invest in indigenous territories in coordination with their traditional authorities.

A total of 190 countries represented in the executive board voted in favor of the project, which has been designed from the MinGob and in coordination with the National Indigenous Peoples Development Board of Panama.

With this Development Plan, Panama aims to improve the infrastructure and quality of services in health, education, water and sanitation in the 12 indigenous territories of Panama.

Cynthia Arévalo, deputy director of Planning and International Cooperation at MinGob, said that this project is "innovative and different" from any loan that the World Bank has negotiated with Panama, since it involves indigenous populations, communities and authorities "in investment decisions that will be carried out in their territories".

"We have managed to define between 30 and 40 investment projects in the areas of health, water, sanitation and governance and all have been presented and endorsed by the National Table of Traditional Authorities and Presidents of Indigenous Congresses and Councils of Panama," Arévalo said, according to official information. ACAN-EFE

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