WASHINGTON, D.C.: The World Bank says it has committed US$10.2 billion this year to support Latin America and the Caribbean’s efforts to boost economic growth and maintain social gains.
The Washington-based financial institution said that the amount included resources from its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
The World Bank’s IBRD and IDA “maintained its strong support for the region” by approving more than US$5.1 billion in new loans in fiscal year 2014, US$4.6 billion from IBRD and US$455 million from IDA, the bank’s fund for the poorest countries, the statement said.
“Support was aimed at generating opportunities for all through public and private sector projects that expand public services, improve regional productivity, competitiveness and integration, create new quality jobs and assist those most in need,” said the bank, noting that Haiti received US$103 million in IDA grants.
Transportation, fiscal management and education received the most IBRD funding, said the World Bank, with the region receiving a quarter of IBRD’s total new global lending.
The bank said that this fiscal year, IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, identified infrastructure as one of the most urgent priorities to help boost competitiveness and job creation, especially for the region’s growing urban population.
In fiscal year 2014, the World Bank said IFC invested US$1.7 billion in 34 infrastructure projects, including energy, ports, telecom and more.
In total, the World Bank said IFC supported 148 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean this fiscal year with US$5.1 billion in investments, including US$1.1 billion mobilized from other financial institutions.
It said IFC clients help support jobs for more than 1,580,000 people and provide over 25 million people with connections to power, water and telephone services.