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World Bank Approves $650 Million in Financing to Strengthen Argentina’s MSMEs and Food Programs

World Bank Approves $650 Million in Financing to Strengthen Argentina’s MSMEs and Food Programs

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The World Bank Board of Directors approved two new projects for Argentina. The first focuses on increasing access to financing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) so that they can better mitigate and adapt to climate risks; while the second will help strengthen food programs.

Sergio Massa, Argentina’s Minister of Economy said,

“The food security project will benefit more than 4.2 million people, will compensate the impact of the rise in food prices and will expand the beneficiaries of the AlimentAr program. The project for MSMEs will prioritize the creation of sustainable jobs, focusing on women and vulnerable groups. Social inclusion must underpin Argentina’s development path”

Marianne Fay, World Bank Country Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay stated,

“These projects are an important part of the Bank’s efforts to support Argentina lay the foundations for more sustainable and resilient growth and improve the efficiency of public services and social protection”

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The US$200 million Access to Sustainable Finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) project will provide financing through the Argentine Development Bank (BICE) that will reach more than 14,000 MSMEs and support them as they face climate risks and improve their ability to compete in green markets. The project will prioritize financing for companies led by women and vulnerable groups. It will also support, training and technical assistance, as well as strengthening MSMES institutional capacity.

In addition, the operation will support BICE’s goal to become the “green development bank” of the country, with the incorporation of sustainable objectives, the integration of climate risks as part of its credit risk analysis, the development of an action plan considering environmental and social issues, and a plan to reduce its carbon footprint, among other actions.

The US$450 million Strengthening Food Programs for Vulnerable Populations project will help increase the effectiveness of food programs implemented by the Ministry of Social Development by, among other things, improving the traceability of spending through the use of prepaid credit cards,  upgrading the registry of community kitchens, and monitoring the assistance to beneficiaries.  The project will support the design of the “Prestación Alimentar” program and the expansion of the “AlimentAR Comunidad” program, which serve the most vulnerable segments of society.

Both projects are variable spread loans, repayable in 32 years and have a 7-year grace period.

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