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IDB approves $150 million loan to promote gender equality in Panama
  • The approval is the second in a series of two operations under the Programmatic Policy Reform Support Loan.
  • This series seeks to reduce gender inequality in Panama, implement policies that promote the physical, economic, and decision-making autonomy of women, and strengthen the country's gender institutions. 

This second operation aims to strengthen the regulatory and institutional framework and the management capacity of gender policies within the COVID-19 response and recovery process. The program has four specific objectives: improve the quality of service offered to women victims of gender-based violence (GBV), strengthen access, quality, and cultural relevance of sexual and reproductive health services; promote equal opportunities in access and working conditions for women, and contribute to strengthening women's leadership. 

Panama has promoted, for almost three decades, policies in favor of gender equality. The COVID-19 crisis threatens to deepen existing gaps and puts progress made at risk. As in other Latin American and Caribbean countries, women have carried the heaviest burden and the highest risk of contagion as frontline workers in Panama. Additionally, the measures taken during the health crisis have created barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services, affecting more indigenous women in hard-to-reach areas. Likewise, it has affected the physical safety of women, unleashing an increase in femicides, increasing the risks of GBV and domestic violence, and limiting victims' access to essential services. In terms of employment, women have disproportionately lost jobs and income, with an unemployment rate almost double that of men. 

The loan will benefit women victims of GBV in Panama. Likewise, the operation will benefit women's health, especially young people, adolescent mothers, and women residing in indigenous regions. In addition, the loan will contribute to the insertion and professional development of women, especially young women and those affected by situations of socioeconomic vulnerability, and in the expansion of opportunities for social inclusion and economic development for those most affected by multidimensional poverty and ethnic and gender inequalities. 

Gender equality directly impacts the well-being of women, their families, and the recovery of countries. In turn, it has a direct impact on poverty reduction, economic growth, and sustainable development. Actions that benefit women and vulnerable populations are a priority for the IDB Group's Vision 2025, a roadmap to support countries to achieve an inclusive and sustainable recovery, and the recently approved IDB Group Country Strategy with Panama for the period 2021-2024. 

The loan has a 12-month disbursement period, a 2-year grace period, and an interest rate based on LIBOR. 

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

Press contact
More Information

Horacio Álvarez Marinelli

Team Leader

horacioa@iadb.org