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IFC, Partners Help Colombian Municipalities Improve Basic Services through Better Use of Royalties


n Lima:
Clara Ugarte Perrin
Phone: (511) 611-2501
E-mail: cugarteperrin@ifc.org

Bogotá, Colombia, April 26, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with Ecopetrol and the Escuela Superior de Administración Pública (ESAP) to strengthen the ability of Colombian municipalities to use revenues generated by the local oil industry to increase investments in the health, education, water and sanitation sectors.

The initiative is helping municipalities improve investment practices, public procurement, and social accountability through face-to-face workshops and direct technical assistance to the municipalities of Arauca, Casanare, Huila, Meta, Putumayo, Santander, and Sucre.  The alliance between IFC, Ecopetrol, and ESAP represents an investment of 750 million Colombian pesos (about $ 390,000 equivalent), including support of the Norwegian, Spanish, and Swiss governments.

“Ecopetrol is committed to the program’s framework and supports its strategy for corporate social responsibility, with the objective to reinforce citizen participation and local public management,” said Javier Gutiérrez, Ecopetrol’s President.  

The initiative builds on a previous project by IFC and Ecopetrol that helped five Colombian municipalities improve the use of $55 million in royalties from the oil industry.  By partnering with ESAP, the project will institutionalize and expand the reach to a larger number of municipalities.  ESAP will offer workshops and advisory sessions with a virtual platform that will meet specific needs for implementing public investment rules and accessing tools and best practices developed by the project.

The current project includes 10 additional municipalities that are improving their processes to help expand basic services in local communities through making better use of oil royalties to invest in key sectors.

“IFC’s collaboration with Ecopetrol and the Escuela Superior de Administración Pública will help improve the management of public revenues and enhance the quality of basic services such as health and education for local communities,” said Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services. “Our partnership illustrates the significant contribution that well-managed and responsible extractive industries can make towards promoting sustainable economic growth.”

IFC’s strategy in Colombia focuses on supporting sectors that are essential to social and economic development. IFC business operations in Colombia promote environmentally and socially sustainable practices, especially in extractive industries.

For more information about Ecopetrol, visit www.ecopetrol.com.co.
For more information about ESAP (School of Public Management), visit www.esap.edu.co.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.