Wed | May 5, 2021

IDB expands partnership to foster growth in the Caribbean

Published:Monday | January 18, 2021 | 10:20 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan.  17, CMC – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it has collaborated with its innovation-focused IDB Lab, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation in signing a new memorandum of understanding extending their public-private partnership until 2026 to carry out programs that will drive social and economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The Washington-based financial institution said the signing of this agreement will complete 19 years of joint efforts in the region.

In this new phase, PepsiCo and its Global Foundation are investing about US$6 million in projects that will be implemented over the next five years. 

“These projects aim to generate solutions in four areas of mutual interest: water access, inclusive recycling, sustainable agriculture, and economic recovery,” the IDB said. “All programs will pay special attention to women’s empowerment.”

IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone said he was “pleased to announce the strengthening of our partnership with PepsiCo, as well as the launch of the Next Generation Agriculture Fund. 

“Our collaboration with PepsiCo reflects the IDB’s commitment to working with strategic partners on priority issues for the region, including water access, rural development and women’s participation in the agricultural value chain,” he said. “By collaborating with the private sector, we can develop new and creative solutions that directly benefit local communities and women in our region.” 

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, in Latin America and the Caribbean, 4.5 million women are agricultural producers who earn 24 percent less than men and have less access to land ownership. 

The IDB said women’s work in agriculture is paid less and valued less than that of men. 

It pointed to research that shows that, if women farmers had the same access to resources as men, they could increase their land yield by 20 and  30 percent, potentially reducing the number of hungry people in the world by 150 million. 

As such, as part of this expanded partnership, the IDB said the IDB Lab and PepsiCo are launching the Next Generation Agriculture Fund, which aims to identify challenges connected to gender issues within PepsiCo’s potato supply chains, initially in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Guatemala. 

The three-year program will help improve the resilience and sustainability of the supply chains in these three countries, the IDB said. 

During the virtual signing of this alliance, Ramon Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, said “the partnership we have built with the IDB has been key to positively impact the lives of 19 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean through investments of US$17 million over 14 consecutive years in the areas of water and sanitation, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, inclusive recycling, and support in natural disasters.”

Through the LatitudR platform, the IDB said it works “hand-in-hand” with PepsiCo, with public and private actors, in 12 countries in the region “to create the necessary conditions for the inclusion of grassroots recyclers into the integral management of solid waste and the recycling value chain.”

To date, more than 19,000 recyclers have benefited from the program,” the IDB said.

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