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Argentina and the IDB: Partners in Development

IDB-backed projects have benefited 2.2 million students, helped 62,200 families

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) operations in Argentina go back to the early years of the Bank’s existence and have been expanded over time to meet the country’s main needs.

Since 1961, the IDB has approved about $30 billion in loans and guarantees, which has served to cover Argentina’s financing requirements in areas such as infrastructure (roads, water and sanitation, and energy), institutional strengthening, education, the environment and social investment.

The Bank’s current active portfolio consists of $8.550 million in loans approved for the public sector and $51.8 million in technical cooperation.

Approximately 45 percent of the portfolio is allocated to infrastructure projects and 30 percent to social investment projects including health, education and neighborhood improvement. The private sector portfolio amounts to $75.4 million.

The Bank’s contribution to development

The Bank supports the development of the Argentine agricultural sector and its projects have benefitted more than 250,000 farmers, through a mixed strategy of interventions that promote the sector’s competitiveness.

The IDB provides support for National Health and Food Quality Service (SENASA), strengthen the agricultural technological innovation (INTA) system and improve basic rural infrastructure and agricultural services for the development of regional economies beyond the Pampas areas (PROSAP).

The Bank's support for science, technology, and innovation is reflected in the institution’s continuing contribution to the sector’s development, which has included loans for more than $1 billion over the last 15 years. This financing has helped to strengthen the region’s institutions, supported new ways of promoting business innovation, and created sectoral funds for technological innovation and platforms for advanced technology. The Bank is currently working with the Ministry of Science and Technology in the formulation of the National Plan for Science, Technology, and Innovation 2011–2014, and the creation of a new research institute for studies of innovation.

The Program to Support Policies to Improve Educational Equity in Education (PROMEDU) is an example of the Bank’s sustained support to reduce the gap in educational opportunities of children and young adults from different income strata. In its first phase, PROMEDU benefited more than 2.2 million students in 6,500 secondary schools in vulnerable situation. In 2011, the IDB began supporting the second phase. Over the last six years, in order to guarantee both the mandatory nature of secondary education and primary education for all, the Bank supported the construction of 1,110 schools of different educational levels, with 750 more to be added in the near future.

Another example of the IDB’s development contribution is the Neighborhood Improvement Program (PROMEBA), which has focused its efforts on 135 neighborhoods and has benefited more than 62,200 low-income families. The purpose of this program is to improve living conditions and contribute to the urban and social inclusion of households in the poorest segments of the population, those who reside in precarious towns and settlements.

Moreover, the Bank is participating in the financing of urban and rural potable water systems, having approved operations for some $1.2 million to date. A large portion of these financial resources has gone to towns with populations under 15,000 people, where nearly 2 million inhabitants have benefited.

The Bank has recently begun implementation of the Water and Sanitation Program for the Metropolitan Area and the Bonaerense Suburb and the Potable Water and Sanitation Program (PAYS) aiming to increase coverage of these services in urban centers which represent 68.6 percent of the country’s population.

These projects include new construction and rehabilitation works, operational improvements, and expansion of service coverage by applying appropriate and low-cost technologies. Financing will also be directed at institutional strengthening to improve business management, promote energy efficiency programs, foster good operating and maintenance practices, and establish cost recovery mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of the new investments.

The future

Loan approvals in 2011 are expected to exceed $1.3 billion, which will cover approximately 17 percent of Argentina’s external financing requirements. The investments are earmarked for continuing support in the priority areas of growth and competitiveness, poverty reduction and institutional strengthening.

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