Panama: New Strategic Partnership Includes US$400 Million in Loans

September 22, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC, 22 September 2010 – The World Bank's Board of Directors analyzed the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Panama yesterday, centered on creating opportunities for all Panamanians based on the joint activities of both government and private sector and aimed at increasing the country's productive capacity.

The new strategy corresponds to the 2011-2014 period and contemplates flexible loans for a total sum that will depend on the government's specific demands, as well as a series of consultancy and analysis services that will be defined jointly with authorities.

It contemplates US$300 million for fiscal year 2011, and US$100 million for FY 2012.

The strategy supports the governmental program and stands on three main pillars: economic growth based on the country's competitive advantages; providing greater opportunities for all and consolidating an efficient and transparent public sector.

“This new strategy, designed jointly with the Panamanian government, supports the current administration in promoting economic growth and competitiveness, improving access to and the quality of rural an urban roads, as well as better education, promoting the productive capacity and climate change and natural disaster risk management, among other areas,” said Laura Frigenti, World Bank Director for Central America.

In order to create more opportunities for all, the strategy will improve access to and the quality of basic health and nutrition services, placing special emphasis on child and reproductive health in rural areas and those with indigenous populations. It will also improve social protection services and access to water and sanitation services.

The work plan intends to increase the transparency and efficiency of the public sector, optimizing spending and reducing paperwork. It will also create systems to evaluate the results obtained by the public sector.  It will modernize financial and auditing systems, as well as the property tax collecting system.

Currently, the World Bank's portfolio in Panama includes six loans and a grant from the Global Environmental Facility totaling US$ 181.4 million. The operations financed by the multilateral organization comprise the areas of health, social protection, rural development and infrastructure.



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