Chile/WB: Support for Greater Educational Opportunities and Improved Targeting of Social Programs

November 17, 2015

Project Accompanies Government Efforts to Improve Educational Equity and Strengthen Social Development Institutions

SANTIAGO, November 17th, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved US$100 million in financing yesterday to accompany development policies aimed at promoting equity and social inclusion, through actions that will foster access to a quality education, improved poverty measurements and increased targeting for social programs.

Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes, said that "this initiative is part of the actions carried out jointly by the Government of Chile and the World Bank, which include both financial support and technical assistance to promote public policies that strengthen equity in education and improvements in the use of resources for social programs."

The Social Inclusion for Shared Prosperity Development Policy Financing project will, among other objectives, seek to increase access to improved schools among low income students and provide complete higher education scholarships to students belonging to the most vulnerable 50 percent of the population.

“This loan will support the Government of Chile in its objective of reducing inequality through the implementation of structural reforms that will help achieve a more integrated society with equal opportunities for all,” said Alberto Rodriguez, World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. “Improving the access of all Chileans to quality education will lead to a society where individual opportunity will not depend on the economic status of one’s parents.”

In recent years, Chile has achieved significant progress in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction. The country has had a sustained growth rate of 4.6 percent in the last 20 years, contributing to a substantial reduction in poverty levels. However, in order to reach a higher development level and social inclusion, it is necessary to address the causes that perpetuate economic and social inequality in the country, particularly through a more accessible, equitable and higher-quality education, at all levels.

The project focuses on three pillars: promote equal opportunities in education; improve conditions to increase the quality of tertiary education; and strengthen poverty measuring institutions and improve targeting of social programs. The last pillar will support the new Social Selection Support System, which will help improve the identification of the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

The Finance Ministry, through its Budget Department will be responsible for program coordination. The program’s activities will be managed by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development. The US$100 million loan has a 13-year maturity period and a 12.5-year grace period.


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