Foreign Affairs Minister: Peru has invested $1.63 billion in cross-border development plan with Ecuador

Foreign Affairs Minister José Antonio García Belaunde told Congress on Friday that Peru has invested more than $1.63 billion in a bilateral plan with Ecuador to develop its northern border region.

García Belaunde said Peru has invested in infrastructure projects to expand rural electrification, plumbing, and transportation, as well as social development projects focusing on health and education in the border region, state news agency Andina reported.

The cross-border projects include the construction of a $103 million highway from the town of Saramiriza, in Peru’s Loreto department, to the Ecuadorean city of Loja. He said the government also spent $10.5 million on sustainable development programs in the Tabaconas Namballe National Sanctuary in Cajamarca, as well as $4 million on health and education services in indigenous communities living in the Santiago river basin.

García Belaunde said Peru is planning on funding future projects as part of the bilateral plan that will include economic development in the department of Amazonas and the creation of tree nurseries in town of Bagua.

The Bilateral Plan for the Development of the Peru-Ecuador Border Region was signed in 1998 for a period of 10 years. It was later extended until 2014.

The plan was created in an effort to strengthen cross-border relations and improve development in the region as part of a peace agreement that ended the territorial dispute over the Cordillera del Cóndor, the dense cloud forest mountain range that was the center of the 1995 Cenepa war between Ecuador and Peru.

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