The World Bank has approved a loan of $250 million to Panama aimed at promoting human capital and strengthening institutions to accelerate the country's economic recovery following the covid-19 pandemic.
The loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of the five institutions that make up the World Bank Group, has a variable margin of 20 years, including a two-year grace period.
This is the second of two programmatic Development Policy Financing loans approved for Panama, after the one authorized by the World Bank Board in December 2020 for $300 million.
"This project will help direct the economy to build back better through critical political and institutional reforms to benefit the most vulnerable, including Indigenous Peoples," said World Bank Director for Central America and the Dominican Republic, Michel Kerf.
By supporting a combination of policy measures to address "Panama's pressing needs, this crisis can be transformed into an opportunity to strengthen services and institutions," he added.
Panama's Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander, said that the World Bank loan will serve to “strengthen health, education and social protection services, as well as promote transparency, inclusion and adaptation to climate change; all of which is a strategic priority for the government.”