Funds will increase capacity of national healthcare system, with focus on hard-hit Guayas province
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has disbursed approximately $25.3 million to the government of Ecuador to strengthen its healthcare services and help meet the medical needs of individuals affected by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The funds will be used primarily to prepare intensive-care-unit beds in 28 hospitals and provide protective gear for medical staff in Guayas province.
The resources were redirected for this purpose from the “Multiphase Program to Improve Quality in the Delivery of Social Services – Phase I” loan operation.
This disbursement is the first tranche of more than $700 million that the IDB has committed to provide Ecuador to help combat the current crisis.
Previously, based on extensive dialogue with member countries and technical analysis by Bank specialists, the IDB announced that it will focus its pandemic-related support for the region in four areas:
- The Immediate Public Health Response: Support for countries’ preparedness and response capacities to help contain the transmission of the virus and mitigate its impact, with resources to strengthen public healthcare systems and purchase supplies and equipment.
- Safety Nets for Vulnerable Populations: Measures to protect the income of the most affected populations through existing transfer programs, non-contributory pensions and grants. Other proposed measures include extraordinary transfers to workers in the informal sector and support for companies in sectors particularly affected by the crisis, such as tourism.
- Economic Productivity and Employment: Assistance to SMEs, which account for 70% of the region’s jobs, through financing programs and short-term liquidity guarantees, foreign-trade financing and guarantees, loan restructuring, and support for strategic supply chains.
- Fiscal Policies for the Amelioration of Economic Impacts: Support to countries in designing and implementing policies in three key areas: fiscal measures to finance the response to the crisis; continuity plans for the execution of expenditures and public procurement; and measures to support economic recovery.
About the IDB Group
The IDB Group is the leading source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps to improve lives by providing financial solutions and development know-how to public- and private-sector clients. The Group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth.