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IDB to Help Brazilian State of Ceará Close Social Gaps in Vulnerable Municipalities

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $50 million loan to help lessen the vulnerability of people and families in the most disadvantaged municipalities of the state of Ceará.

The state in northeastern Brazil has 9.2 million inhabitants and a GDP per capita that is among the four lowest in the country. In 2022, more than 3.4 million people living in Ceará belonged to a family in extreme poverty, and the healthy development of an estimated 9% to 16% of the state’s children is in jeopardy.

For over 20 years, Ceará has been constantly working to strengthen its social policy, and for this purpose it has received three consecutive IDB loans under the Program to Support Social Reforms. This new phase of the program will strengthen public policies and expand coverage and continuous quality improvement processes, especially in early childhood services. It will specifically focus on including vulnerable people in specialized social services, as well as on enhancing the development of children in households that receive services through the Unified Social Assistance System.

The loan, which has been approved by the IDB's Board of Executive Directors, will allow the social services network to expand quality coverage in 80 municipalities in the state to reduce inequalities among them. Among other measures, the program will build 20 social assistance resource centers to serve more than 3,000 families, 77 early childhood education centers with a capacity for 100 children each, and four Más Infancia social complexes that will provide services to approximately 750 families per month.

The program’s actions are expected to bolster the Social Protection Secretariat’s ability to implement social protection policies and enhance the planning of different municipalities. To this end, the program will finance distance training in social protection policies, as well as courses for civil servants on managing the units that provide social services.

The IDB loan will increase the annual capacity of social assistance resource centers by more than 14,000 beneficiaries and provide 7,700 new openings at early childhood education centers. In addition, approximately 3,200 people will benefit each year from the training courses to be offered. Furthermore, 2,000 Unified Social Assistance System officials or counselors will benefit from training programs designed to improve how social services are managed.

The loan has a 24.5-year repayment term, a 6-year grace period and an interest rate based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).

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 projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.


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