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Menendez, Rubio Unveil Legislation in Support of Capital Increase for Inter-American Development Bank

Bill advances pandemic recovery efforts in the Americas, calls for establishing first IDB Environmental Fund

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chairman of the SFRC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, today introduced new legislation authorizing the tenth general capital increase for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the hemisphere’s leading international financial institution. At a moment when countries in the region have suffered from the widespread economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating hurricanes in the region, the bill highlights that the U.S. Congress is leading efforts to prioritize and secure an IDB capital increase.

The legislation would increase the IDB’s annual lending to $20 billion and strengthen its ability to lead financial recovery efforts across Latin America and the Caribbean. As part of the capital increase, the bill encourages the creation of the IDB’s first environmental fund and lending facility—a groundbreaking initiative that would position the Bank to expand efforts to improve environmental sustainability and disaster preparedness in the hemisphere. 

"As we continue looking for ways to step up our efforts to address global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this important legislation renews the United States’ commitment to the region’s leading multilateral development bank and to deepening economic relations with our hemispheric partners,” said Ranking Member Menendez. “This legislation will guarantee that the IDB has the resources it needs to support our partners in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly after the hemisphere’s economic outlook was severely battered by COVID-19 and a devastating hurricane season. This bill will also ensure the IDB is better prepared to address the growing challenges of climate change in the Americas by calling for the establishment of its first-ever environmental fund. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to approve this legislation as soon as possible.” 

“With the growing economic adversities our region is confronting, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or the destruction left behind after previous natural disasters, I’m proud to join Senator Menendez in introducing this important bill,” Rubio said. “By supporting the advancement of the Inter-American Development Bank’s capital increase, we are reaffirming America’s leadership in our hemisphere through the IDB’s financial initiatives. We must do all we can to counter China’s predatory schemes in our region, as they continue to prey on developing nations. America’s partnership is needed now more than ever.”  

The legislation includes the following provisions:

  • Authorizes the U.S. Governor for the IDB to vote in favor of an $80 billion increase in the capital stock of the Bank and requires U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of a 10th IDB capital increase.
  • Encourages the creation of an IDB environmental fund and lending facility to strengthen environmental policies and safeguards, sustainability initiatives, and disaster preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Recognizes the significant economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the impact of the Venezuelan refugee and migration crisis.

The full text of the Inter-American Development Bank General Capital Increase Act can be found HERE and a section-by-section description of the legislation can be found HERE.