WASHINGTON D.C., February 24, 2023 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved two new loans for Argentina today: one for US$300 million to reduce dropout rates in secondary and higher education and the other for US$150 million to support planned urban growth to enable more inclusive housing access.
“We are very pleased to have the assistance of the World Bank to support the financing of education inclusion, and the launch of a habitat and urban land program, to improve living conditions and access to infrastructure and services for more Argentines", said Sergio Massa, Argentina’s Minister of Economy.
The project Improving Inclusion in Secondary and Higher Education (program-for-results financing) supports the Progresar national scholarship program, which currently reaches 1.4 million vulnerable young people to mentor and encourage them to complete their studies.
For its part, the Second Habitat and Urban Land Project will be implemented in 40 municipalities around the country to improve living conditions of 17,000 households through urban growth planning and the delivery of better infrastructure and services in shantytowns, informal settlements and degraded areas.
“We support the government of Argentina through investments to improve opportunities for young people and vulnerable families. The Progresar scholarships enable many young people to continue their studies instead of having to go to work, while the habitat project helps resolve the housing deficit, improving social integration,” said Marianne Fay, World Bank director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Despite almost universal access to secondary education in Argentina, only half of students finish their education on time; in the case of young people from vulnerable sectors, only a third do so. Higher education in Argentina has one of the lowest completion rates in the region: only 29 of every 100 new students graduate. In addition to supporting the scholarship program, the education project will strengthen learning assessment systems and develop monitoring systems for students at risk so that teachers and schools can help keep them in school.
The Second Habitat and Urban Land Project will address the growing housing deficit that affects 3.5 million households throughout the country. To this end, it will facilitate access to land plots in safe and environmentally sound urban areas and will provide municipal governments with more efficient tools for urban land management. In vulnerable neighborhoods, it will also provide connections to basic services such as water and wastewater, gas and electricity, and will promote social integration through the construction of public infrastructure and community facilities.
The program-for-results financing of the Improving Inclusion in Secondary and Higher Education Project is a fixed-spread loan, with a maturity period of 31.5 years and an 8-year grace period.
The Second Habitat and Urban Land Project is a variable spread loan, with a maturity period of 32 years and a 7-year grace period.