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LatinNews Daily - 23 May 2019

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In brief: Panama

* The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$40m loan to Panama, complemented by a local contribution of US$3m to implement a programme on financial inclusion and indigenous entrepreneurship in the country's 12 indigenous regions. According to the IDB, the plan prioritises the demands of indigenous peoples and the interventions of the economic pillar contained in the national plan for integrated development of indigenous peoples (PNDIPI). The IDB notes that this programme will “address business initiatives proposed by companies or organisations run by indigenous people, helping to boost their revenue by widening access to financial services, building productive infrastructure in indigenous districts and territories so as to promote the inclusion of these businesses in the value chain, and providing non-financial services such as training and continuing technical assistance, accompanied by pre-investment”. The IDB cites government data which show that in Panama there are 22 indigenous organisations with legal status and 41 cooperatives.