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IDB-backed program will improve the quality of life for more than 500,000 residents of poor neighborhoods of Argentine cities

It will expand and improve potable water and sanitation services. A large part of the public works projects will be focused on the greater Buenos Aires region and provincial capitals

More than 500,000 people living in poor sections of Argentine cities with populations of more than 50,000 will see improvements in the quality of their lives with an expansion and improvement of potable water and sanitation services to be implemented through a program financed with a $200 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

This is the second loan approved within the Credit Line for Water and Sanitation Program for Urban and Suburban Centers, approved by the IDB in July of 2010. 

“This operation complements a string of Bank actions to support Argentina in the development of its water and sanitation sectors in order to resolve the key challenges of access for the most disadvantaged sectors of the population and the quality of the environment in the Norte Grande region, smaller communities and the greater Buenos Aires region. This also will help to meet Millennium Development goals,” said Henry Moreno, IDB project team leader. 

The program will assist with the efficient and sustainable delivery of water and sanitation services; carry out efforts to renovate, rehabilitate, optimize and amplify water and sewer services; assist the Ente Nacional de Obras Hídricas y Saneamiento (ENHOSA); and strengthen the plannification and regulatory work of sub-national entities.

The loan would finance the execution of new and rehabilitation projects as well as the optimization and expansion of potable water and sewage systems. Among them would be new projects to improve and expand the collection, treatment and distribution of potable water, as well as projects to collect, treat and dispose of waste water. This would include, among other goals, the construction of treatment plants, distribution networks, storage tanks and pumps for potable water and of waste water collection networks, pumps and treatment plants. 

A large part of the projects would be carried out in those parts of the greater Buenos Aires region and peri-urban areas of provincial capitals that have the highest levels of poverty. 

The program also will finance efforts to improve the operational, commercial and financial management of the entities that provide those services, including the preparation of plans for micro and macro measurements, operational efficiency and energy efficiency. 

Additionally, the project will assist with a revision of structures, tariffs and subsidies as well as an administrative reorganization and improvements in fee collections, a reduction in non-revenue water use and the investment planning by the operators. 

The project also foresees the possibility of financing actions to strengthen ENOHSA, such as training for its personnel and the design and acquisition of tools to plan and monitor projects, as well as assistance for the regulatory and planning functions at the provincial and/or municipal levels. 

The IDB loan of $200 million is for a period of 25 years, with a grace period of 5.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR. It has a counterpart contribution of $50 million.

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