The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it is providing a total US$800,000 through technical cooperation grants of US$400,000 each for the Strategic Program for Infrastructure Development and the Strategic Program for Integration Development for Mesoamerican Project member nations, including Belize.
The Washington, D.C.-based IDB said on Wednesday that other beneficiaries are Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
“The operation’s goal is to contribute to the Mesoamerican region’s logistics development through studies and action plans,” the IDB said.
It said the project is aimed at generating regional transportation and logistics strategies; promoting regional investment plans; supporting the transformation of the Pacific Corridor (part of the Inter-American Network of Mesoamerican Roads running from Puebla, Mexico, to Panama City); and fostering the implementation of National Logistics Plans.
The IDB said assistance to the regional strategies will focus on three areas: intermodal transport, cargo logistics and urban mobility.
The Pacific Corridor component will fund an operational study and investment plans to identify and prioritize high-impact transport and logistics projects in the corridor countries, with special emphasis on the Northern Triangle nations — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the IDB said.
It said support for the implementation of national logistics plans will benefit those countries, plus Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Referring to the need to kickstart transportation projects that facilitate intraregional trade, the IDB’s Manager of the Central America, Mexico, Panama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic Country Department, Gina Montiel, said: “Maximizing logistics performance and infrastructure investments in the region is still a key pending subject on the road to buttress Mesoamerica’s and Central America’s competitiveness.
“This support is aimed at offering planning and prioritization instruments for strategic transport and logistics infrastructure in order to boost up connectivity and improve logistics performance and border management in the region,” she said.
The IDB said the project, expected to be completed in 24 months, will receive an additional US$120,000 in counterpart funds, taking the grand total to US$920,000.