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IDB to provide Mexico $3 billion for efforts against economic crisis and swine flu

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced it will approve $3 billion in loans to Mexico this year, bolstering the government’s efforts to counter the effects of the global economic crisis and swine flu emergency.

“Mexico is confronting these challenges in an effective, timely and transparent way,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “In support of those efforts, we will expand the resources for a series of programs in our pipeline and we will speed up disbursements.”

The operations for 2009 will nearly treble the sum of loans approved for Mexico last year, which totaled nearly $1.1 billion.

The swine flu emergency could worsen Mexico’s contraction, adding to the economic slowdown caused by decreases in remittances and exports. In light of this, the IDB will support programs designed to defend the progress Mexico made against poverty in recent years.

“We are in constant consultations with Mexican authorities and in coordination with other international and regional agencies to identify priorities,” said Gina Montiel, manager of the IDB Country Department for Central America, México, Panama and the Dominican Republic. “The goal is to channel additional resources to mitigate the effects of the emergency and its impact on economic activity and on employment in dynamic sectors such as tourism.”

Among the actions by the IDB:

  • Approve $3 billion in loans to Mexico for programs that mitigate the effects of the swine flu emergency and the global economic crisis on the income of the poor.
  • Grant $1 million to support efforts to detect new cases, strengthen epidemiological surveillance systems and carry out information and operational campaigns in Mexico.
  • Launch a $5 million regional initiative with the Pan American Health Organization to help Central American countries strengthen their early alert and diagnostic mechanisms to prevent the spread of the swine flu and other infectious diseases in the isthmus.
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