WASHINGTON, November 19, 2014–About 6 million families living in underserved and poor areas in Mexico will benefit from a shared program of the World Bank with the Federal Government of Mexico for US$350 million approved by the Board of Directors and signed today in a high level ceremony.
The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, spearheaded the event to celebrate this new phase of collaboration between the World Bank and the Mexican Government in the area of social protection, which was attended by the President of the World Bank Group (WBG), Jim Yong Kim.
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), the government is pursuing a new strategy to strengthen the social protection system and to make it more comprehensive to support those who leave poverty, generate income and thus boost their social mobility. PROSPERA, as the successor of the Oportunidades program, seeks to link conditional cash transfers to productive and financial inclusion activities.
"The World Bank’s support constitutes the accompaniment to Mexico’s new generation social policy implemented since December 2012 to go beyond welfare and open productive options based on entrepreneurial culture and individual dignity. The support is an endorsement to a country like Mexico that has been characterized by implementing forefront social programs at the international level”, said Rosario Robles Berlanga, Secretary of SEDESOL.
“Mexico has much to be proud of when it comes to social protection, including Oportunidades’ structure and implementation; PROSPERA’s innovative and broad approach to the sector; and the country’s strong leadership on this area”, said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “As a result, countries around the world look to you for what to do to help their poorest citizens”, he added.
The implementation of the next generation of programs to reduce poverty in Mexico will serve as a laboratory for other countries that have implemented similar models of social protection inspired by the logic of conditional cash transfers on school attendance and regular health checkups for children and young people.
Kim noted that if it were not for these programs, today, over 50 million people would be living in extreme poverty as they are essential to enhance human development and to create opportunities to leave poverty behind and, now with PROSPERA, to do it in a sustainable manner.
During his brief visit to the country, the head of the multilateral institution based in Washington D.C., expressed solidarity with the families of the students missing since September 26. On this regard, Kim emphasized: “I want to add my voice in support to the families of the disappeared students. Terrible tragedies like this one underscore the need to continue investing in the future of the most vulnerable, improving their wellbeing and providing them with better opportunities and good jobs”.
President Kim visited Mexico accompanied by the Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar Calderon and other officials from the WBG.