FONPLATA supports Argentina’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 health and socioeconomic emergency
The Development Bank has granted almost US$ 55 million to this member country to fight the COVID-19 health and socioeconomic emergency. In the national sphere, funds were aimed at the construction of modular emergency hospitals in several provinces, the purchase of appropriate individual protection and hygiene equipment and of a monitoring system consisting of a 360 dome for the Argentine Border Centers, and at strengthening the Support Program for Local Assistance in Emergencies to assist the most vulnerable population with income support schemes and ensure social lockdown conditions.
In response to the coronavirus health emergency in the region, the Development Bank made available to its member countries a special non-reimbursable cooperation fund, special funding lines to address the situation through fast-track procedures for approval and disbursement, and agreed on the possibility of restructuring existing loans.
Land-Border Centers Protection
In this month of May, FONPLATA approved a US$1.11 million disbursement to support the fight against the COVID-19 in the Argentine Land-Border Centers. This funding comes from the activation of the "contingent situations" provision of the loan operation granted by FONPLATA to the Argentine Republic for the partial funding of the "Infrastructure Integration Program" and will be used for the purchase of appropriate individual protection equipment (face masks, hand sanitizer, coveralls, disposable gloves, and sanitary masks, among others) and for the implementation of a monitoring system consisting of a 360 dome.
Support to local governments
In last April, a loan operation was approved to develop the Support Program for Local Assistance in Emergencies, which aims at strengthening local governments in the implementation of protection and assistance policies during the COVID-19 health emergency. This program is aimed at protecting the most vulnerable social groups against the effects of the virus in Argentina, both in terms of income and support measures to ensure social lockdown conditions. Besides, the program provides resources to strengthen the care capacities of local health systems. The loan will be implemented through the Ministry of the Interior in coordination with the Ministry of Health. The program total cost is US$15 million, of which US$12 million will be funded through FONPLATA, and the remaining US$3 million, through local contribution.
Still in April, another US$25 million disbursement was granted to the Province of Buenos Aires to mitigate the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 through the implementation of the second stage of the Program to Strengthen the School Food Service. School lunchrooms and their distribution system play a relevant role in social inclusion in Argentina, role that adds to the efforts of the province in face of the emergency caused by the coronavirus.
The country has also requested the activation of the contingent situations provision with regard to the loan operation with FONPLATA for the partial funding of the second stage of the program for the “Interruption of the vectorial transmission of T. Cruzi and control of Chagas disease in Argentina”. It involved a US$1.5-million disbursement to hire field technicians to strengthen the health-care personnel protection and training actions in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization – WHO.
Modular emergency hospitals
In the end of March, Argentina received US$15 million from FONPLATA for the construction of 11 modular emergency hospitals in different localities and provinces, which enabled the country to increase its bed capacity with 760 hospital beds, of which 240 are exclusively for intensive care patients and 520 for other treatments that require hospitalization. Once the coronavirus health emergency is over, these new hospitals will stay in place to be used by the local communities.
Likewise, the country has obtained a non-reimbursable technical cooperation of US$200,000 to improve professional medical services, purchase supplies, logistics and equipment for the implementation of the Emergency Center. In total, Argentina has already received more than US$54.8 million to strengthen its response measures to face and mitigate the coronavirus health and socioeconomic emergency.