Latin America Bank $80 Billion Capital Boost Gets Senate Backers

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More senators are joining the effort to win a capital increase for the top Latin America development bank, seeking to build momentum for a lending boost to fight Covid-19 and climate change in the hard-hit region.

Democrat Bob Menendez and Republican Marco Rubio plan to reintroduce a bill that would send $600 million to the Inter-American Development Bank over the next five years and authorize $23.4 billion in backup capital, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg News. The bill was initially introduced in December at the end of the last Congress.

Democratic Senators Tim Kaine and Ben Cardin and Republican Senator Bill Cassidy are joining as co-sponsors, signaling growing support for the bill. The measure would also urge the IDB to create an environment fund for disaster preparedness, sustainability and conservation.

The U.S. is the bank’s largest shareholder, responsible for 30% of its resources. Washington’s contribution is part of the senators’ broader call for the bank’s 48 member countries to agree on a total increase of $80 billion in capital stock. It would be the Washington-based IDB’s first such boost since a 2010 accord.

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