The Inter-American Development Bank is lending $63.2 million to the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil to renovate its five campuses and research centers.
The school will use the money to replace outdated equipment and introduce different teaching techniques in an effort to meet Brazil's scientific and technological needs.
As part of the effort, it is adding new classrooms, laboratories, and libraries, as well as buying new books, journals and furniture. It also is putting 3,200 pieces of new equipment in the science, health and technology laboratories.
Some of the project's money will pay for 145 Brazilian teachers and researchers to study abroad in doctoral and research programs. About 3,600 administrative personnel and 800 primary and secondary school science teachers will receive training at home. The university also is contracting 20 international teachers to teach at Sao Paulo.
The entire project will cost $158.3 million, of which the bank is supplying 40 percent.
The development bank has granted another loan of $6.3 million to help restore almost 45,000 acres of forest in Ecuador's Central Sierra. The government of Ecuador is also investing $2.1 million in the project.
The land to be restored is now stripped of its trees, which quickly erodes the soil. Under the project, 23 million seedlings of pine, tropical cypress and eucalyptus will be planted, along with a four-mile windbreak.
Individuals and associations of low-income farmers will own the reforested territories. Part of project involves training residents to care for the new trees.
The bank said it is believed that the new plantings will not only encourage forest animals and different variety of plants, but also will help slow the rate of deforestation in the region's remaining natural forest stands.
The loan, from the Fund for Special Operations, has a term of 40 years at an interest rate of 1 percent a year for the first 10 years.