The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Agitos Foundation have launched a new project during the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, aiming to continue previous work with the "En sus marcas, listos… inclusion" initiative.
The new phase will extend the strategy to use Para-sport as a tool for social inclusion in 16 vulnerable communities in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
This initiative will receive a contribution of $740,000 (£605,000/€668,000) from the Japan Special Fund Poverty Reduction Program, and will be executed by the IDB's social sector together with the Agitos Foundation.
Implemented over three years, there will be a total investment of $1.3 million (£1.1 million/€1.2 million).
This cooperation continues the work initiated in 2017 by the IDB and Agitos Foundation with the first phase of the project "En sus marcas, listos... inclusion", aiming to strengthen Para-sport infrastructure in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Peru.
This project allowed 300 local leaders to benefit from awareness workshops, and more than 400 people with disabilities from 10 vulnerable communities had the opportunity to participate in adaptive sports.
As a result, two elite athletes that participated in the first project – Colombia’s Julián Acosta and Peru’s Jesús Castillo – are competing at Lima 2019.
Legislative advances have also been made to facilitate the practice of sports for people with disabilities and National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) have been strengthened.
A communication campaign was also launched to inspire a change in the perception of people with disabilities, while the relationship with the private sector has been strengthened by linking more than 20 companies with the NPCs of the beneficiary countries.
"We are very happy to strengthen the alliance with the IDB and continue to support Para-sports as a tool for social inclusion," International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said.
"I also want to thank the support of the Japanese Government and institutions for supporting the Paralympic Movement through numerous initiatives that are being carried out around the world before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games."
Toshiyuki Yasui, IDB’s executive director for Japan, added: "Japan is very pleased to strengthen this type of regional cooperation with the Agitos Foundation.
"The IDB supports Paralympic sport as a motor of inclusion and development."
Since 1990, the IDB has approved more than 40 operations related to people with disabilities, promoting access to education and employment through the use of technologies, as well as the generation of data for public policies and institutional strengthening.
It has also included components to improve accessibility of people with disabilities to services and infrastructure in loans in Brazil, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
Since 2006, the IDB has promoted sport as a means to contribute to the development of children, youth and their communities, in employment, education, health and violence prevention.