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PRESS RELEASEMarch 24, 2022

Colombia Will Receive US$ 750 Million for Equitable, Green Growth and US$ 80 Million to Strengthen Education

Washington, D.C., March 24, 2022 – Promoting Colombia’s equitable, sustainable economic recovery and supporting government efforts to improve learning in the education sector are the main objectives of two loans approved today by the World Bank's Board of Directors.

"Through these two loans, which are crucial for Colombia, the World Bank will contribute to the financing of the country’s general budget as well as of the budget of the Ministry of National Education," said Alejandra Botero Barco, director of the National Planning Department. “It will support national government efforts to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the official education system, and those to promote an equitable and sustainable economic recovery.”

The first loan, for US$ 750 million, will promote new policies to improve the equity and resilience of households, including addressing the barriers that women face in accessing economic opportunities. It will also support the country's efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the economy, as well as measures to achieve a low-carbon energy transition.

Additionally, the financing will promote the country's biodiversity and natural capital conservation agenda. It will support measures that contribute to protecting wildlife and biodiversity and reducing deforestation.

The second loan, for US$ 80 million, will help improve pedagogical practices and the management of Colombia’s education sector to improve learning achievements and strengthen socio-emotional learning. Coordination among teachers, principals, and local government representatives will be strengthened to improve the basic skills of the most vulnerable preschool and secondary-school students.

Specifically, this loan will support programs that are key to guaranteeing a timely, effective post-pandemic response in education. These programs include actions for the effective use of learning assessments, improvements in pedagogical practices, optimization of school management practices, coordination between educational institutions and local governments, and the strengthening of the School Meal Program.

"Both operations will support government efforts to promote more equitable access to opportunities for the most vulnerable groups following the pandemic," said Mark R. Thomas, World Bank director for Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. “Recovering the learning losses of millions of Colombian children and youth owing to school closures during the pandemic, as well as reducing the negative impacts of climate change, which disproportionately affect the country’s poorest citizens, are priorities for achieving an equitable, sustainable recovery.”

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