US WITHDRAWS FROM INTER-AMERICAN BANK INVESTMENT FUND

Asuncion, – The Inter-American Development Bank said that the United States will not renew its contribution to the Multilateral Investment Fund that supports pilot development projects. In a news conference at the IDB’s annual board of governors meetin…

Asuncion, – The Inter-American Development Bank said that the United States will not renew its contribution to the Multilateral Investment Fund that supports pilot development projects.

In a news conference at the IDB’s annual board of governors meeting in Paraguay’s capital, Asuncion, Head of the Washington-based organization Luis Alberto Moreno linked the US decision to a policy shift since Republican President Donald Trump took office in January.

“On this occasion, the United States, for various domestic reasons, did not want to participate,” Moreno said. He added that the US delegation had indicated at an October 2016 meeting that it was willing to contribute, “but that it all depended on the result of the election”.

“Once President Trump’s government began, they informed us -at the beginning of February – that the United States would not be making any contribution.” Moreno added.

The IDB provides loans to governments and businesses to finance projects ranging from large-scale infrastructure to small businesses. Founded in 1959, it says it is the leading source of development financing for Latin America, lending $11.3 billion and $13.8 billion in 2015 and 2014, respectively.

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), created in 1993, was instrumental in the development of microfinance and provides technical assistance to small projects aimed at providing economic opportunity to the poor.

IDB member countries pledge to renew the fund’s coffers every several years.

This marked the first time since the MIF’s founding that the United States did not contribute to its fund replenishment, an IDB spokesman confirmed. It comes as Trump has proposed slashing the US foreign aid and diplomacy budget by 28%. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency