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IDB approves $25 million for comprehensive child care in Nicaragua

The Inter-American Development Bank announced today the approval of a $25 million soft loan to Nicaragua to broaden and improve comprehensive care to children under six years of age from low-income families.

The program is designed to cover 80,000 children by its third year of operations and will include initial and preschool education, provision of food supplements and preventive health services. Referral services will instruct pregnant women on the opportunities for assistance in the health care system, and parents will be provided instruction and advice on proper child-rearing practices, nutrition, family hygiene, violence prevention and reproductive health.

The financing will strengthen institutions responsible for childcare and support the operational framework of the project. The Ministry of the Family*, the program’s executing agency, will contract civil society organizations to provide the child and family services through both community centers and mobile teams.

The program is linked to Nicaragua’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, a commitment under the framework of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) by the international community.

The IDB loan from the Fund for Special Operations is for a 40-year term, with a 10-year grace period, at an annual interest rate of 1 percent during the grace period and 2 percent thereafter. Local counterpart funds total $2.780.000.

The project expands and improves Nicaragua’s Comprehensive Child Care Program that was established in 1996 with the support of a $3.5 million IDB loan and a $2.8 million grant from Norway.

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