The World Bank approved $8.2 billion and 31 operations for the region this fiscal year, including $8.0 billion in IBRD loans and $183 million in IDA commitments. The focus was on supporting economic recovery, building sustainable infrastructure, investing in the poor and vulnerable, building resilience and the ability to respond to shocks.
The World Bank tailors its extensive financial, knowledge and convening services to the region’s diverse needs. Countries increasingly turn to the World Bank for more than direct lending, taking advantage of services including risk insurance, commodity swaps, climate adaptation finance, technical assistance, convening assistance and development research.
The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility helps more than 20 Caribbean and Central American countries pool risk, access low cost disaster insurance, and better manage catastrophic risk.
In Lima, Peru, and Quito, Ecuador, the Bank is working to develop metro systems that will reduce carbon emissions and unlock congestion. In the Caribbean, it is modernizing grid systems and helping businesses to retrofit their buildings so they can save energy and draw on renewable sources of power.
In February 2016 the World Bank offered $150 million to support the region’s response to the Zika virus.
Research highlights include Out of School and Out of Work: Risk and Opportunities for Latin America’s Ninis, Indigenous Latin America in the Twenty-First Century: The First Decade and a recent study on teacher quality.
Conferences such as “Governance for Growth with Equity,” held in Uruguay in April, demonstrate the Bank’s capacity to convene leaders around rising regional challenges.
Some program highlights in specific countries include:
Argentina: Three projects totaling US$ 845 million were recently approved: expansion of the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) program extending benefits to 1.5 million more children (US$ 600 million), better drainage systems for flood risk management in the city of Buenos Aires (US$ 200 million), and Productive Innovation (US$ 45 million).
Brazil: The Parana Multi-Sectoral Development Project (SWAP) improves emergency health networks for mothers and children. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Parana State dropped from 63.8 percent in 2010 to 37.5 percent in 2015. The number of beds in neonatal intensive care grew from 268 to 1,714. The percentage of pregnant women identified as high risk of complications in primary care units is 99 percent, well above the 50 percent goal.
Bolivia: The Bank is helping to develop a comprehensive system to better manage disaster-related risks. In addition, the Rural Alliances Project (PAR) supported 770 producer organizations in 110 municipalities with a total of 29,000 beneficiary families increasing their income by 33 per cent in rural areas. The second version of the project is underway and will benefit 35,000 families in 120 municipalities.
Ecuador: Hundreds were killed and thousands wounded following a major earthquake in April. The Bank immediately made funds available from a recently approved $150 million Risk Mitigation and Emergency Recovery Project to pay for medicine, mobile hospitals and other basic services.
Haiti: The Bank works with its partners in the Education for All program to increase access to schools and quality education for 73,000 disadvantaged children and to provide daily meals for 132,000.
Honduras: The Rural Competitiveness Project (COMRURAL) helped more than 7,000 small farmers in rural areas improve their income. Farmers added value to their products through investments in productive technology and market knowledge.
Mexico: A US$400 million loan will support the efforts of the Mexican government to expand credit for productive purposes in rural areas. This project will fund around 75,000 loans to MSMEs in rural areas as well as small agricultural producers. A little over half are expected to go to women's projects. The Bank is also helping expand access to a broader range of social services for beneficiaries of the Prospera conditional cash transfer program.
Nicaragua: The Second Land Administration Project (PRODEP II) covers six of the 15 Departments in the country, and has helped develop better property rights regulations benefitting more than 430,000 people, over half of which are women. Cadastral information for about 85,000 parcels has been updated and more than 67,000 families have received legal documents for their properties, with over 43,000 being new land titles.
Paraguay: The Sustainable Rural Development Project helps improve the quality of life of small-scale farmers and indigenous communities. Community organizations and self-governance are supported to enhance natural resource management and improve socioeconomic conditions.
Peru: A project is working to extend the benefits of rehabilitating water and sewage networks to more than 239,000 low-income residents in Northern Lima. The bank is also helping to promote productivity by raising the quality of public education and helping to improve the business environment by reducing entrance, operation, and market exit costs for companies.
St. Lucia: In St. Lucia the Climate Adaption Finance Facility promotes increased climate resilience. More than 35,000 people (20 per cent of the population) have already benefitted from the rehabilitation of two bridges, 11 schools and four health facilities damaged by Hurricane Tomas.
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2016