We have supported Mexican researchers since 1973. A strong focus on agricultural research helped to improve the corn farmed in poor areas and preserve hundreds of local corn varieties. IDRC-funded researchers have also studied health problems that disproportionally affect the poor. These include infant and child mortality, dengue fever, and malaria.

The thirteenth largest economy in the world, Mexico is now a bridge between developed and developing nations. Still, major geographic and social disparities in access to health care, education, and employment remain. IDRC collaborates with Mexican researchers to address these challenges.

Addressing health issues

When Mexico joined NAFTA, it committed to eliminating the use of DDT, a pesticide used to control malaria. The National Institute of Public Health designed an alternative mosquito control strategy to replace DDT and virtually eliminated malaria. Developed with IDRC support, the mosquito control strategy became policy in Mexico and is being tested in Central American countries.

Several IDRC grants also enabled the Institute to discover cases of manganese poisoning in central Mexican mining communities. Researchers found a significant link between exposure to manganese in the air and the risk of developing motor deficiencies. They also showed that exposure lowered children’s IQ scores.

Developing digital capabilities

We were one of the first development agencies to embrace digital technologies as a tool to foster development and reduce poverty. In 1987 an IDRC grant linked 10 Mexican universities by email and enabled them to train others in electronic communications. We also supported government tests using e-learning to professionalize the Mexican public service.


Total IDRC Support

183 activities worth CA$26.2 million since 1974

World Bank/C.Carnemark

Our support is helping

  • reduce illegal activities and violence in border regions
  • improve economic growth in rural-urban territories
  • increase quality maternal health care for indigenous women
  • enhance economic opportunities in Latin America, especially for women
  • create healthy food environments to lessen obesity and reduce disease
  • open up mobile banking for seven million families — especially women