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PRESS RELEASE April 4, 2019

The World Bank Approves a US$350 Million Loan to Strengthen the Social Safety Net in Ecuador

Washington, April 4, 2019 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$ 350 million loan to support the Ecuadorian government in improving the equality, integration and sustainability of social safety net programs in the country. More than 228,000 extremely poor households with children and senior citizens are expected to benefit from the project.

The project has two components. One is designed to better target programs through improved mechanisms for selecting beneficiaries and providing services associated with cash transfers. The second is to provide technical assistance to improve program effectiveness through monitoring, evaluation and institutional strengthening.

Berenice Cordero, minister of Economic and Social Inclusion, said that “to make public spending more efficient, the main challenges for social safety net programs in Ecuador are to increase coverage among the population living in poverty and improve the effectiveness of existing programs to prevent and reduce poverty and promote the development of human capital.”

“Through this project, Ecuador could be among the first countries of the region to link benefits of social safety nets with employment services in an effort to improve their capacity to foster increased income and well-being,” said Alberto Rodríguez, World Bank director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.  He added that “the lessons learned from this process will be key for addressing similar challenges in other countries and will make a significant contribution to improving knowledge on the impact of cash transfer programs.”

Project activities will focus on improving coverage of social safety net programs among the population living in extreme poverty, which will help increase equality. Activities will also promote the integration of early childcare and older adult services and the cash transfers that each poor household receives. Additionally, the project will design and implement strategies for the exit and transition of beneficiaries who do not meet eligibility requirements, guaranteeing access for those individuals to production and employment inclusion programs and thus supporting the overall sustainability of the social safety net.

The project closing date is December 30, 2022.  The loan will be repaid over 30 years, including a grace period of nine and one-half years.


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