Oct 172011

Today (17 October 2011) is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. A few weeks ago, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $280 million loan to help fight urban poverty in Mexico through a comprehensive approach that combines efforts targeting both physical needs — increased access to urban services and infrastructure — as well as social needs of people living in marginal areas.

Co-financed with counterpart funds from the Mexican government totaling $280 million, the program will improve urban infrastructure and access to basic services as well as strengthen social integration, benefiting at least 2.2 million homes a year. A special focus will be placed on populations suffering high poverty rates.

The loan will be used to pave roads, and improve water supply, sanitation, electrification and public lighting, waste collection and disposal, among other actions.

On the social side, the program will foster individual and collective skills and promote social inclusion and community participation and organization. This component includes services delivered in Community Development Centers (CDC), such as training workshops targeting different skills, spare time activities promoting civic integration, prevention of risk behaviors in adolescents, and assistance to female victims of violence and support for senior citizens.

This strategy is complemented by a pilot scheme which seeks to expand and improve interventions in selected districts in order to reduce vulnerability to violence with the help of community-based interventions.

The program includes paving or repaving of 17 million square meters of road surface and the laying of 1,000 km of water pipes, 1,350 km of drainage and sewer pipes, and 168 km of electrical wiring. It also provides for the installation of 57,000 street lights, construction and improvement of a total of 300 centers for victims of violence, construction and/or equipping of 840 Community Development Centers.

[This post is the text of a press release from the Inter-American Development Bank. ]

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