“I am greatly impressed by the results the Bank has achieved in the fight against corruption. The Bank`s efforts are helping to curb secrecy and promote democracy,” commented Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.
The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest multilateral lender in Latin America, and it plays a key role in providing input for the shaping of regional and national development policy.
The Norwegian funds are to be channelled through the Bank’s Transparency Trust Fund, which seeks to promote greater transparency about national revenues from the extraction of natural resources, to promote the development of a robust tax system and to combat illicit capital flows and corruption.
Among other things, the Transparency Trust Fund has uncovered irregularities in fishing licences in Brazil and money laundering in Paraguay, and it has succeeded in increasing transparency about oil agreements in Ecuador, which has led to an increase in the country’s government revenues.
Since 2007, Norway has provided a total of NOK 45 million to the Transparency Trust Fund. The additional allocation of NOK 30 million is for the period 2014–2016.
Many countries in Latin America have experienced strong economic growth in recent years, but more than 12 % of the population of Latin America is still living below the poverty line.
“We must support a policy of fair distribution and transparency. Tax revenues and an active distribution policy are essential if the countries are to be able to finance fundamental rights such as access to education and health services,” Mr Holmås commented at the signing of the agreement at the Spring Meeting of the World Bank in Washington, D.C.