The Board of Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of the five institutions of the World Bank Group, approved this Thursday a loan for USD300 million to strengthen the flooding prevention infrastructure in Salado River Basin of the Province of Buenos Aires.
Within that framework, the Minister of Finance, Luis Caputo, said: “We need more investment in infrastructure, not only to guarantee the population’s welfare, but also to develop a more competitive economy and to create genuine jobs”, and he added: “For that reason, it is crucial for us to have strategic allies, such as the World Bank, that guarantee the financing we need in order to grow”.
The project “Support to the comprehensive management of Salado Basin” will benefit the whole population of the Basin (1.4 million people) and the structural works will have a direct impact in San Miguel del Monte, Lobos and Roque Perez, 75,000 people in total.
This Project will be also complemented by a contribution of the Provincial Government of USD75 million and it will enable the adjustment of the course in order to prevent floods and to improve bridges, thus reducing the risks for the population and the impact on economic activities. Institutional strengthening is also expected in the management of water resources and the environment protection, by supporting the sustainable management of infrastructure investment.
To that end, the initiative has three elements: the strengthening of institutional capacities for an integrated management of water resources, fluvial works in 34 km of Salado River, and the support to Provincial bodies for the management of the project and the active participation of beneficiaries. In this sense, fluvial works will have an efficient approach in terms of costs, with a responsible management of sediments, which improves soil productivity, and voluntary agreements with the owners of the land.
The Basin of Salado River is strategic for the economy of the country due to the fact that the 25% of the national production of grains and meat comes from this area. In 2015, the highest raining level in the history of the Basin caused the flood of nearly 2 million acres, the death of 6,000 head of livestock and losses amounting to 652 million dollars.
In this sense, the Vice President of the World Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar, said: “This loan represents the World Bank’s support to Argentina to improve the population’s living conditions”, and he added: “We will continue working with the country in the strengthening of infrastructure and productivity, among other areas, in order to foster sustainable growth and the creation of jobs”.
This way, the World Bank continues supporting the country through long-term financing for the necessary infrastructure works to guarantee development.