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IFC Supports Education in Colombia with $8 Million Financing to Uniminuto


In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph
Phone: (202) 473 7700
E-mail:
ljoseph@ifc.org

Adriana Gomez
Phone: (202) 458 5204
E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C./ Bogotá, Colombia, September 8, 2009 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will promote access to affordable professional and technical education for low- and middle-income students in Colombia with $8 million in local currency financing to leading educational institution, Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios – Uniminuto.

Uniminuto’s network currently covers 11 municipalities in urban and rural areas throughout Colombia and provides a range of technical, vocational, and university education to 20,000 students. With IFC’s support, the company will expand its facilities and programs to 30,000 students with limited access to higher education.  


Father Camilo Bernal Hadad, Rector-General of Uniminuto, said, “We believe that education is critical to promoting growth, social mobility, and stability in Colombia, and are committed to providing both high-quality and affordable education and to serving areas that have no access to services.”


Uniminuto will also increase its professional degree courses, including, computer science, accounting, business administration, and civil engineering, and will develop programs with high employment prospects like hotel management, tourism, agro-ecology, business management for livestock and dairy, Web design, and occupational health. To promote job availability, Uniminuto has established alliances with companies and organizations in key industries.

Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, said, “IFC is delighted to partner with a leading institution such as Uniminuto which is not only providing top-quality technical and post-secondary education but is also increasing access to services in remote areas, reaching lower-income households, and training local professionals for the job market.”


Roberto Albisetti, IFC Regional Manager for Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela, said, “IFC’s financing to Uniminuto is contributing to human capital development in the country by supporting universities with professional and technical programs that address private sector demands and create opportunities to improve living standards. Supporting Colombia’s education sector is a top priority for IFC.”


IFC’s strategy in Colombia is to support sectors essential to social and economic development—infrastructure, health, education, and public-private partnerships to build ports, roads, and airports. IFC helps leading Colombian companies modernize and expand their businesses internationally; promotes access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises; works on improving the investment climate by simplifying regulations and royalty management; and encourages environmentally and socially sustainable practices, especially in the extractive industries. In fiscal 2009, IFC committed $224 million to private sector projects in Colombia. As of June 2009, IFC’s committed portfolio in the country was over $1 billion, its third largest in Latin America and the Caribbean region.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Uniminuto

Established in 1990, Uniminuto owns and manages a network of post-secondary education centers in Colombia with 34 teaching sites in 11 municipal departments catering to over 20,000 students and employing more than 1,600 staff.  It provides for the education needs of low- and middle-income families while developing highly competent and ethically responsible professionals. For more information, visit
www.uniminuto.com.