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Colombia seeking up to $2 bln in World Bank financing for 2022

10/11/2021 | 01:32pm EST

BOGOTA, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Colombia will seek up to $2 billion in World Bank financing for 2022 efforts on climate change, biodiversity, improvements to the healthcare and help for young people, President Ivan Duque said on Monday.

Duque met in Washington with officials at the bank, which had already supplied $2 billion in funding for this year for programs meant to help the Andean country's post-pandemic economic recovery.

"There are four central areas where we hope to have financing programs in 2022 which will be between $1.2 billion and $2 billion, where we're talking about issues like climate change, support on our biodiversity agenda, strengthening the health system thinking about post-pandemic," Duque told journalists after the meeting.

"Something else that's important, financing for our youth agenda, the youth pact, where we have the issue of employment with a 25% subsidy to the minimum wage and with which we're reaching close to 80,000 young beneficiaries."

Colombia's central bank in August sold the government $2.79 billion in exchange for local TES treasury bonds, to help shore up the country's liquidity and budget for this year and next. The funds came from Special Drawing Rights granted to Colombia by the International Monetary Fund.

The central bank predicts the economy will grow 8.6% this year, compared to a contraction of 6.8% last year amid coronavirus shutdowns. Growth will normalize to 3.9% in 2022, the bank says. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Aurora Ellis)


ę Reuters 2021
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