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WB: US$50 Million to Improve Health, Nutrition and Education in Peru

December 10, 2010

WASHINGTON, December 10, 2010 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$50 million loan to contribute to the Peruvian Government’s efforts to improve the quality and results of basic social services like health, nutrition and education.

“This loan allows us to give continuity to the country’s efforts to establish clear standards for children’s learning at the same time we improve their health and nutrition,” said Jose Antonio Chang, Peru’s Prime Minister and Education Minister. “This has helped parents and district governments in demanding quality services. This strategy has also established a base from which to advance toward the important results achieved in recent years regarding learning, health and nutrition.”

This is the third and last loan in a series of programmatic loans, implemented between 2007 and 2010, aimed at improving the results of social services. Some of the policies supported by this loan include:

  • Actions by the National Identity and Civil Registry (RENIEC) aimed at improving birth certificate registrations;
  • Actions by the Finance Ministry aimed at improving the connection between budgets and results in social sectors, and the participation of poor communities in their monitoring;
  • Actions by the Ministry of Education aimed at increasing parental participation in the education of their children; and
  • Actions by the Ministry of Health, the Integrated Health System, National Food and Nutrition Center (CENAN) and the Juntos program aimed at increasing health insurance coverage and nutritional monitoring.

Finance Minister Ismael Benavides said that his portfolio is aiding efforts to make social spending more visible within the poorest populations. “In fact, this reform program seeks to share the responsibility for obtaining results across government levels and the population itself when demanding their right for health and quality education services,” added Benavides.

For his part, Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, said that “this program supports the Peruvian government’s successful efforts at defining goals and transforming the results obtained in social sectors, through reinforced accountability mechanisms. It is crucial that results be documented thoroughly, through the second-degree Educational Achievement Census Evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Education, MINEDU, the Nutritional State Information System (SIEN), and rigorous health-sector surveys such as the National Demographic and Family Health Survey (ENDES).”

Jaramillo stressed that reading ability and math skills had improved significantly between 2007 and 2010; institutional birth coverage keeps rising in rural areas; nutritional monitoring has intensified with support from CRECER; while the chronic malnutrition rate was lowered significantly in 2009 and 2010.

“These social advances complement the country’s economic achievements and reduction of poverty levels, and represent a good omen for Peru’s future development,” said Jaramillo.

To date, the main achievements associated to this program include:

  • Increasing the percentage of second grade students whose reading abilities have reached passing grades. According to the Student Census Evaluation (ECE), that figure increased from 15.9% in 2007 to 23.1% in 2009. The goal is to achieve 35% by 2011.
  • Increasing the percentage of second grade students reaching a passing grade in math skills, from 7.2% in 2007 to 13.5% in 2009. The goal is to achieve 30% by 2011. 
  • Increasing the coverage of institutional births (in adequate health services under specialist attention) in rural areas from 49.4% in 2007 to 55% in 2009. The goal is to reach a 70% coverage rate by 2011.
  • In 2009, the average number of growth and development controls for children under-12 months of age reached 4.2, compared to 3.3 in 2005. This exceeded the goal of 4.0, set at the beginning of the program
  • Reducing chronic malnutrition in children less than five years of age with respect to levels shown at the baseline, from 28.5% in 2007 to 24.2% in 2009. It is estimated that the goal of 23% will be reached in 2011.

Financing for the US$50 million program approved today consists of a fixed-margin loan with a 12.5-year maturity period and an 11-year grace period. Total financing for the three loans related to this program during the 2007-2010 period reaches US$530 million.

Media Contacts
In Lima
Sandra Arzubiaga
Tel : (511) 615-0660 Ext 339
In Washington
Gabriela Aguilar
Tel : (202) 473-6768