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IDB approves $850 million in lending for social protection in Argentina



The Inter-American Development Bank approved today an $850 million loan  for a program aimed at providing better access to education and healthcare to vulnerable families in Argentina, improving their living conditions and human capital formation.



The Bank financing operation will help define a social protection policy that coordinates action of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs within the standards of existing sector policies.


The loan will also help realign the CCT programs currently operating in Argentina, and finance the design, implementation, and consolidation of a new system to detect and monitor social risks in households covered by Families Program (Programa Familias, in Spanish), the largest of its kind in the country. Families Program was launched in October 2005 with the support of a $700 million loan from the IDB, and by January 2009 it had assisted more than 600,000 families.


Bank financing will also help improve the operation of national programs for food security and educational inclusion, strengthening its monitoring and evaluation capacity.


“This is a support that matters to the most vulnerable families in Argentina,” said the manager of the Southern Cone Country Department at the IDB, Carlos Hurtado. “The program is also very timely considering the global financial crisis.”


The IDB loan is phase 1 of a multiphase lending project to be implemented in approximately five years. It was approved with an amortization period of 25 years, an 18-month period of grace, and a Libor-based interest rate.

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