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El Salvador gets $60 million IDB loan to expand and upgrade public health services
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $60 million loan to finance for an integrated public health service network for El Salvador.

The loan will support the country’s efforts to provide high-quality universal primary health care for its population.  The integrated system will allow the country to more effectively treat and manage the growing incidence of chronic diseases as well as infectious diseases and other types of illnesses related to poverty.

The IDB loan will finance infrastructure works and equipment to expand and improve the network of primary health units; the selection and training of health personnel; the development of instruments and information systems to manage patient’s referrals; and the design and implementation of local social participation plans.

In addition, the IDB will support the strengthening of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, including the development of the National Medical Emergency System and the Health Information System, and the improvement of the network of public health laboratories in the context of the development of the National Health Institute.

The country’s integrated primary health care system program complements other ongoing actions by El Salvador to alleviate poverty and is expected to contribute to a reduction in mortality rates in the country in coming years. The program is tied to the Comunidades Solidarias Urbanas program, which supports the expansion of a conditional cash transfers program in informal neighborhoods. It also complements the Mesoamerican Health Initiative that provides non-reimbursable funds to finance health interventions targeting those in the lowest income.

The IDB loan is for a 25 years, with a 5-year grace and disbursement periods. The interest rate is based on LIBOR. The government of El Salvador will provide an additional $22.7 million in local counterpart funds.