WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2022 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved two loans totaling US$295 million to foster the labor market inclusion of vulnerable groups and to support the sustainable management of the country’s strategic ecosystems.
“We are committed to ensure that the recovery the Argentine economy is experiencing reaches all our citizens, and within a framework of sustainability, we are committed to promoting professional education, job training and formal employment for those who have the greatest difficulties in accessing and remaining in the labor market”, said Claudio Moroni, Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security of the Argentine Republic.
The “Promoting Better Jobs through Integrated Labor and Skills Programs” project, for US$250 million, seeks to improve employability and to strengthen the quality and availability of training programs, with a focus on women, youth, men over 45 and members of some vulnerable groups (including indigenous people, Afro-descendants, people with disabilities and LGTBI+ people), who have the highest rates of unemployment, underemployment and informality.
“These two first projects are part of our support for 2022. From the World Bank we accompany Argentina's efforts to move towards inclusive growth. For this, it is crucial to increase quality job opportunities for the people most affected by the crisis, and at the same time to promote a green recovery, which improves the resilience of ecosystems and local communities,” said Jordan Schwartz, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
This financing supports the new Employment Promotion Program, created by the national government in November 2021 to benefit some 600,000 people seeking to enter the labor market, with a focus on women. A core project area will be career guidance and job search assistance, along with the provision of professional training, including skills development in sectors with high growth potential (for example, jobs in the digital economy, climate-resilient and low-carbon jobs, etc.). The most vulnerable individuals will be eligible for an economic stipend to participate in the program.
The Sustainable Recovery of Landscapes and Livelihoods in Argentina project, for US$45 million, will contribute to improve the management and resilience of ecosystems in 13 landscapes and seascapes vulnerable to climate change, while at the same time increase opportunities for local communities. Additionally, the country will receive a US$12 million grant from PROGREEN, the global partnership for sustainable and resilient landscapes.
The project seeks to increase the climate resilience of landscapes such as the yungas, the Paraná rainforest, the Chaco forest, the Patagonian glaciers and the southern oceans through land use planning, habitat conservation and infrastructure construction, among others. More than 15,000 people from communities in the project’s area of influence are expected to directly benefit, and some six million people could benefit from increased local economic activity, including tourism.
To promote investments in the forested landscapes of northern Argentina most threatened by deforestation and poverty, the project will receive a grant from the PROGREEN partnership.
The project Promoting Better Jobs through Integrated Labor and Skills Programs has a variable spread loan payable in 32 years, with a seven-year grace period. The Sustainable Recovery of Landscapes and Livelihoods project also has a variable spread loan, with a maturity period of 34 years and a seven-year grace period.
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