San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 31, 2003 -- The North American Development Bank (NADB) has made unprecedented gains in supporting communities along the U.S.-Mexico border develop needed basic infrastructure, providing US$160 million in loans and grants for projects so far this year alone.
This was the message being delivered to the public by the Bank's Board of Directors and management at its annual public meeting today in San Antonio.
Since its last public meeting held in December of 2002, the NADB has initiated 19 new financing agreements for infrastructure development, including a US$27.6 million loan to the Mexican state of Baja California for a multi-city air quality improvement project.
Twenty projects in the U.S. have also been selected to receive a total of US$40 million in grants under the Bank's Water Conservation Investment Fund, of which six have received final approval. The Bank has also approved US$40 million for a single water conservation project in Mexico.
Board members expressed satisfaction with the direction of the institution, noting the positive impacts of new, recently implemented programs such as the WCIF. "NADB's performance during the current year has been very promising, with Bank funding to projects increasing by 125 percent over the last three years.
NADB is gradually consolidating its role as an important partner for border communities to provide a better environment for the benefit of the border population," stated Dr. Andres Conesa Labastida, NADB Board Chairman who serves as Head of Public Credit Division of Mexico's Ministry of Treasury and Public Credit (SHCP). "In the near future we expect the NADB will be at its full financing capacity, which will translate into better quality of life for the border population," added Conesa.
Capitalizing on greater flexibility in its financing terms, and a broader array of eligible projects, both of which are the result of previously implemented reforms, the NADB has provided more financing over the first nine months of 2003 than during any other similar period in the Bank's history.
As a result, a greater number of border communities in the U.S. and Mexico are not only meeting their infrastructure needs in areas such as water and wastewater service, but are also availing themselves of financial services for the development of needed projects in areas such as air quality improvement and water conservation.
"Undoubtedly, the combination of new financial tools such as low-interest lending, and the Bank's pursuit of project opportunities outside of its traditional areas of water and wastewater services is putting the Bank's capital to greater use, and consequently improving the lives of more border residents than ever before," stated Raúl Rodríguez, NADB Managing Director.
To date, the NADB has provided US$628.9 million in financing for 68 infrastructure projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. The total cost of these projects is US$2.17 billion, and will ultimately benefit communities with a total population of over 6 million.
"The Bank's achievements in 2003 are indeed very encouraging, demonstrating clearly that our reform efforts are paying off," said Mark Jaskowiak of the U.S. Treasury Department. "We look forward to our continuing work together to help realize this institution's potential to serve the environmental infrastructure needs of the border residents of both countries."
For more information on the NADB, visit www.nadb.org.