Overview

  • With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than US$500 billion, Argentina is one of the largest economies in Latin America.

    Argentina has vast natural resources in energy and agriculture. Within its 2.8 million square kilometers of territory, Argentina is endowed with extraordinary fertile lands and has great potential for renewable energy. It is a leading food producer with large-scale agricultural and livestock industries.  In addition, Argentina has significant opportunities in some manufacturing subsectors, and innovative services in high tech industries.

    However, the historical volatility of economic growth and the accumulation of institutional obstacles have impeded the country’s development. Urban poverty in Argentina remains high, approximately 50 percent higher than in new HICs countries and almost two times that of OECD countries. The incidence of poverty reaches 41% among children aged 0 to 14 years old.

    To deal with this situation, the country has prioritized social spending through various programs, including the Universal Child Allowance, which reaches approximately 4 million children and adolescents up to age 18, 9.3% of the population.

    Over the past years, Argentina has been working on an ambitious structural reform agenda, while starting to correct some of the macroeconomic imbalances. The new administration has moved with significant speed to implement core reforms such as the unification of the exchange rate, the agreement with international creditors, the modernization of the import regime, reduction of inflation and reform of national statistics system.

    In addition, Argentina has taken a very active role on the international stage and was in charge of the presidency of the G20 in 2018, expressed intention to join the OECD and became an observer in the Pacific Alliance.

    Financial turbulences in 2018 led to a 50.6% depreciation of the Argentine peso and implied the revision of the economic plan and a US$ 57 billion agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until 2021, which includes a strong reduction of expenditure. In 2018, the government met its fiscal objectives, and aims to achieve the primary fiscal balance in 2019 and a primary fiscal surplus of 1% in 2020.

    The economic context remains volatile. After a fall of 2.5% of GDP in 2018, a contraction of 1.3% is expected for 2019. With an annual inflation of over 50% (the highest level since 1991), the Argentine peso regained volatility and depreciated more than 13% during 2019.

    Last Updated: Apr 08, 2019

  • The WBG strategy is built around three broad themes:

    • (a) sustained employment creation in farms and firms
    • (b) improving availability of assets for people and households
    • (c) reducing environmental risks and safeguarding natural resources

    These thematic areas were selected for their contribution to achieving sustained poverty reduction and shared prosperity.

    Some emblematic programs will contribute to reduce average transit time to city centers from poor neighborhoods in two metropolitan areas by 15%; or to increase by 12% the gross value of agricultural production ($/ha) of 80,000 small and medium-size farms in lower-income areas; and will support an increase in effective national healthcare coverage from 28% to 50%. 

    The strategy focuses on working with the country’s poorest provinces and in large urban areas.  There will be support for programs designed to increase the employability of young people through training, apprentice programs and corporate partnerships. In large cities, the strategy will promote activities that include logistics solutions, urban transport, basic services, skills development and governance in communities and low-income municipalities.

    Last Updated: Apr 08, 2019

  • Argentina currently has a portfolio of 26 investment projects with US$6.8 billion in committed loans, two guarantees of US$730 million, and three grants totaling US$10 million. The portfolio concentrates on programs that support economic reforms, health, environment, education, infrastructure, the labor market and social protection.

    The World Bank Board of Directors approved in November 2018 two new projects for US$ 950 million, which includes the First Inclusive Growth DPF of US$500 million in support of structural reforms that promote sustainable growth; and an additional financing of US$ 450 million the Protection of Children and Youth Project, with the aim of reaching 250,000 children who are not yet included in the family allowance programs.

    During 2018 the Board has also approved two projects and one guarantee, for a total of US$700 million.

    The Integrated Risk Management in the Rural Agroindustrial System (US$150 million) plans to benefit 20,000 vulnerable rural producers by increasing their resilience in the face of climate events, such as droughts and floods. At the same time, the Supporting Effective Universal Health Coverage Project (US$300 million) seeks to promote the equitable access of 15 million people to quality health services.

    In order to get 20 percent of Argentina's energy from clean sources by 2025, two guarantees of US$730 million were put in place to support the Fund for the Development of Renewable Energies (FODER). The development of renewable energy in Argentina is key to diversify the energy matrix and contribute to climate change mitigation.

    At the urban level, two projects aim to improve basic services in disadvantaged neighborhoods and improve access to formal housing throughout the country. The US$200 million Integrated Habitat and Housing Project is supporting the first national housing subsidy program (Línea Solución Casa Propia). Simultaneously, it will seek to improve living conditions in informal settlements through better infrastructure, public services and social programs. The US$200 million Urban Transformation Project in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area seeks better housing conditions and access to basic services and infrastructure in disadvantaged neighborhoods of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (such as Villa 31 in the City of Buenos Aires).

    More than 600,000 public transport users in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Buenos Aires are benefiting from additional funding of US$45 million for the Metropolitan Areas Urban Transport Project (PTUMA), which is financing a new bus corridor (Metrobus) in the province of Buenos Aires and a transfer center in the south of the City of Buenos Aires.

    About 900 thousand inhabitants of northwestern Argentina are improving their road connectivity thanks to the Northwest Development Road Corridor Project (US$300 million) and have access to improved water supply and sanitation services thanks to the Plan Belgrano (US$125 million).

    Improved quality and accessibility of selected government administrative services and enhanced transparency of the public administration are two main goals for the "Project for Modernization and Innovation of Public Services" (US$80 million).

    Other exemplary projects are: the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin Sustainable Development Project which provides US$ 718 million in assistance to clean up the river basin by improving sewage services and expanding water treatment capacity; the strengthening of flood risk management in Buenos Aires City that will improve drainage systems to benefit three million people (US$200 million); and the Protecting the Vulnerable Population from Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases project(US$350 million) that seeks to improve access to health control and prevention services among 3.2 million adults aged between 40 and 64.

    The World Bank is also carrying out a number of analytical studies to help achieve sustained poverty reduction in Argentina. The latest reports focus on topics such as agriculture, environment, pensions, subsidies, and cities, among others. 

    Latest Reports: 

     

    Last Updated: Apr 08, 2019

Api


LENDING

Argentina: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


PHOTO GALLERY

More Photos Arrow

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

ARGENTINA +5411 4316-9700
Bouchard 547, piso 29 CP1106. Buenos Aires
sip@worldbank.org