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IDB launches fund to assist early childhood development in the Caribbean

Friday, November 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched the ECD Innovation Fund, a partnership to foster early childhood development (ECD) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The ECD Innovation Fund is a partnership with FEMSA Foundation and Open Society Foundations at a regional level, and with Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal (FMCSV) in Brazil. It will be coordinated and managed by the IDB.

The Washington-based financial institution said that each partner will initially contribute one million US dollars to the ECD Innovation Fund, hoping that over the next three years it will reach more than US$10 million for financing projects in the region.

Designed to benefit children in the most vulnerable communities, the new fund will finance initiatives to improve the cognitive, linguistic, motor, and socio-emotional abilities in the first five years of a child's life. Knowledge exchange will be a critical component of the fund, as partners will generate and share new evidence on effective ECD solutions.

“We seek innovative, replicable, and scalable initiatives in order to develop comprehensive solutions to the challenges we face as a society. The ECD Innovation Fund is an opportunity to foster new ideas and contribute to early childhood development in the region”, said Mariano Montero, Director of FEMSA Foundation.

“At Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation we believe that to develop our children is to develop our society. In this effort, we rely on strong partnerships that promote the exchange of ideas, the sharing of knowledge, and the design of policies and practices.

“This fund will enable us to reach the objective of testing and generating impactful public policies in Brazil and Latin America and the Caribbean,” said the FMCSV president, Eduardo de C Queiroz.

The partnership was announced during the IDB-Alas Awards on Thursday, a landmark event to recognise the individuals and organisations working on ECD in the region.

“The Open Society Foundations welcome the opportunity to partner with the Inter-American Development Bank, FEMSA Foundation, and the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation on this critical initiative that we believe will yield invaluable results, with the potential to transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged young children in the region,” said Tina Hyder, Deputy Director of the Early Childhood Programme at Open Society Foundations.