For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 5, 2001
Fact Sheet on Binational Institutions
BECC and NADBank
In 1993, the United States and Mexico agreed to a bilateral cooperative framework for helping the border region develop the water, wastewater, and solid waste infrastructure needed because of the economic and population growth resulting from NAFTA. The countries set up two binational institutions: the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADBank). BECC works with local communities to develop projects, which it certifies; NADBank arranges financing for BECC-certified projects and helps see the projects through to completion.
BECC and NADBank have made a positive impact on the border's environmental needs: there are 44 certified projects, of which 35 are operational or under construction. These represent a total investment value of $940.5 million and benefit around seven million people on both sides of the border. Many more projects are in the pipeline, and the two institutions are providing valuable technical assistance to communities.
The United States and Mexico agreed in November 2000 to expand the range of environmental projects within the BECC-NADBank mandate and to start a new, lower-cost financing mechanism for lower income communities. The Fox Administration has proposed changes, which would allow NADBank financing in non-environmental sectors and in a wider geographic zone. The United States continues to believe that work on improving BECC and NADBank while keeping them focused on their primary mission -- border environmental infrastructure -- remains the top priority.
Both governments have launched discussions on how to improve the performance of both institutions in achieving their original mission and on ways to promote broader economic development in Mexico.
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