World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati is in Argentina right now to discuss the Bank’s current role in the country and its main priorities. On her four-day trip, which ends tomorrow, Indrawati has met with President Mauricio Macri and other federal and provincial government officials and has also overseen various projects supported by the Bank to reduce poverty in Argentina, according to a press release by the World Bank.
Today, Indrawati held a press conference with Argentine Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay in which she congratulated Argentina on not only its 200 years of independence that it just celebrated, but also on its efforts in making a comeback into the international community and establishing a new framework to improve its governance and economic growth.
A total of US $5.8 billion from the Bank has already been allocated to 22 projects in Argentina. Some of these projects include evaluating infrastructure, improving water and sanitation services in lower-class neighborhoods, visiting health clinics and constructing a sewerage collection system in the Matanza-Riachuelo River basin. All of the projects share a focus in the realms of health, environment, education, infrastructure and social protection.
Local outlet Clarín reported that the Bank intends on pouring an additional US $845 million into Argentina this year to solve flooding issues — inadequate prevention affected some 30,000 people throughout the country this year alone — and provide additional funds for the Universal Child Allowance, a program that allows low-income families to receive a small amount of money per child.
In an effort to further stimulate economic growth and job creation, the Bank has also approved a US $45 million loan to continue promoting innovation and technological improvement. This strategy is meant to “boost export diversification, increase the added value of the country’s products and create quality employment,” according to another press release by the Bank.
Last month, the World Bank released its most recent global economic prospects and reported that Argentina’s GDP is expected to modestly contract by .5 percent at the end of the year. Although this marks a recession, it’s hoped that this will yield more promising returns in the following two years and that the current policy adjustments will allow for more sustainable growth in the long term with a 3.1 percent growth increase in 2017.
According to recent studies, 4 million more Argentines have fallen into the poverty in the last six months.