The Board of Directors of CAF -development bank of Latin America- approved a credit line for up to USD 1 billion aimed at strengthening the region's health sectors. The Sectoral Credit Line will support measures aimed at improving access to treatment, medical procedures and ensuring access to one or more vaccines against COVID-19, as well as the acquisition of the necessary inputs for the vaccine to be effectively applied.
Funding may also be used to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and health sector response capacity; accelerate the incorporation of technologies; and restore normal operating conditions for health services, among others.
"We continue to offer agile and efficient financing facilities to support the authorities in the 19 member countries in their vaccination plans and the strengthening of the health sector to improve the wellbeing of the population," said Luis Carranza Ugarte, CAF's Executive President.
The Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting approved the admission of Costa Rica and Mexico as full members of the institution, which will give the countries greater access to long-term financial resources, as well as technical cooperation for their sustainable development, among other benefits. For CAF, this strengthening of its equity will allow it to sustain the bank's operational growth so that it can continue to maximise its impact on the development of the countries and improve the living conditions of the population.
At the CLXXI meeting of the Board of Directors, a regional contingent credit line for extreme weather events, earthquakes, polluting accidents and epidemics in the region was approved for up to USD 500 million, in order to respond quickly and in a timely manner to emergencies that may arise in its shareholder countries. In 2020, USD 300 million were granted under the same conditions to support government actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the first Board of Directors meeting of 2021, a total of USD 940.4 million in loans were also approved for the modernization of the air traffic surveillance system in Argentina, to support the Digital Transformation and Inclusion Strategy in Panama, to promote Paraguay's economic recovery plan, and to strengthen Uruguay's electricity sector.
Finally, CAF is continuing the support it provides to countries to carry out pre-investment tasks for regional integration infrastructure projects through a new stage of its CAF PPI programme with resources of USD 10 million. It is expected to contribute to speeding up the implementation of the regional integration agenda, boosting impacts and adding value.
Since its launch in 2017, the CAF PPI programme has provided USD 20 million to support pre-investment activities for eight projects in seven shareholder countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Panama and Paraguay. This support includes rail, road, digital connectivity and electricity interconnection projects, as well as programmes for the development of logistical integration corridors. CAF's contribution will catalyse investments of USD 3.767 billion in regional integration infrastructure.