Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Inter-American Development Bank

Table of Contents


© IDB/Antine Legrand


Created in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the main source of multilateral funding for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It works with partners to reduce poverty and inequality and to achieve sustainable economic growth.

Canada has been a member of the IDB since 1972 and it holds a seat on the 14-member Board of Executive Directors. The IDB has 48 country members (26 borrowing; 22 non-borrowing).

DFATD leads Canada's day-to-day relations with the IDB in close consultation with Finance Canada.

The IDB is a key partner for Canada in pursuing joint solutions to challenges in the Americas, particularly in rebuilding Haiti. Canada continues to support the IDB's efforts to promote sustainable economic growth, private sector development, and enhanced trade regulations.

Thematic Focus

The IDB's objectives align closely with two of Canada's priority themes for international development: stimulating sustainable economic growth and securing the future of children and youth.

Several of the IDB's objectives also align with the Government of Canada's Americas Strategy, which has specific initiatives to promote greater economic prosperity, security, and democratic governance in the region and reinforces Canada's leadership in rebuilding Haiti.

Economic growth

The IDB's focus on stimulating sustainable economic growth makes it one of the key partners for Canada in the Americas, particularly in Haiti. The IDB provides more financing to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other regional financial institution.

Children and youth

The IDB's Education Initiative focuses on:

The IDB plays an important role in Haiti and other countries of focus such as Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras and Peru, as well as the Caribbean region.

Strategy for Working with IDB

Canada's international development work with the IDB focuses on four strategic objectives:

  1. Working with other IDB donors to implement the IDB's new strategy as outlined in the Report on the Ninth General Increase in the Resources of the Inter-American Development Bank (PDF, 775 KB, 36 pages). This includes:
  2. Supporting the IDB's efforts to strengthen institutions and public sector capacity, encourage private sector development, enhance trade regulations and frameworks, and support regional integration
  3. Helping the IDB enhance its performance in terms of operations, development results, and focus on aid effectiveness
  4. Working more intensively with IDB management to improve institutional effectiveness, including the development and use of an institution-wide, measurable results-based framework


In 2011, with the support of Canada and other donors, the IDB helped:

  • Train 61,075 teachers
  • Increase the skills of 317,872 men, women, and youth for employment
  • Build, maintain, or upgrade 10,185 kilometres of roads
  • Install or upgrade 2,559 kilometres of electricity transmission and distribution lines
  • Train 1,279 public trade officials and private entrepreneurs in trade and investment
  • Provide 833,287 people with access to improved low-carbon public transportation systems
  • Provide 2,522,080 farmers with improved access to agricultural services and investments

The IDB continues to help Haiti recover from the 2010 earthquake. In 2010, the IDB, with Canada's support, cancelled Haiti's pending debt of $484 million and converted undisbursed loan balances of $144 million into grants.

In 2011, with the support of Canada and other donors, the IDB helped:

  • Deliver 16,541 school kits (a backpack filled with school supplies, books and two uniforms)
  • Enroll 34,948 students in school with tuition waivers
  • Supply 4,000 households with new or upgraded water supply
  • Train 35 community emergency response committees and installed 30 flood warning sirens
  • Help 37,275 farmers to better manage water used for irrigation
  • Provide 2,000 farmers with improved agricultural services
  • Build 5,000 secondary irrigation channels around the South Artibonite Canal
  • Repair 47 kilometres of primary roads and 38 kilometres of secondary and tertiary roads

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