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News Releases

Oct 14, 1999

IDB approves first emergency loan to counteract threat of Y2K disruption

Jamaica to receive $10 million in financing to strengthen computer systems

Jamaica has become the first country to receive emergency financing under an Inter-American Development Bank line of credit to assist Latin American and the Caribbean countries in preparing for computer problems related to the year 2000, the IDB announced today.

An IDB loan of $10 million will assist an ongoing Jamaican government effort to ensure that critical systems within priority areas are Y2K compliant and to develop contingency plans for systems that are not fully complaint and may be affected by failures at the end of the century.

In dealing with the Y2K problem, Jamaica’s strategy has set systems investment priorities in the public sector on Transport and Works, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Health, National Water Commission, Jamaica Public Services Co., and the Financial Sector Adjustment Company.

The resources will strengthen the government’s program of converting and renovating systems, testing converted systems, as well as contingency planning and development of fall-back activities to address possible systems failures and defects.

The IDB emergency loan is for a five-year term, with a three-year grace period, at a variable interest rate of 4 percentage points above the six-month U.S. dollar Libor rate. Part of the interest will be defrayed by the Bank´s Intermediate Financing Facility.

Earlier this year the IDB declared the Y2K computer problem a "technological emergency" and opened a $200 million line of credit to assist countries of the region in preparing and adapting their informatics systems to year 2000 requirements and in preparing contingency plans to manage and cope with systems failures that might occur after Dec. 31, 1999.

Jamaica is the first country to receive IDB financing from this program.

Information

For more information contact Armando José Namis of the IDB Y2K working Group at (202) 623-3332, E-Mail armandon@iadb.org

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