Sep 14, 2012

IDB-Backed Program to Improve Sanitation in Northern Argentina

Program will provide households with better sanitation services and new or improved access to drinking water

IBD Northern Argentina Water Treatment

A $500 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will help finance a program to provide 516,000 people in northern Argentina access to improved wastewater treatment services.

The program aims to improve the coverage and efficiency of drinking water and sanitation services in areas of Argentina’s Norte Grande region, where such services are inadequate or nonexistent. Projects will also improve the operational and financial management of service providers and strengthen provincial entities operating in the sector.

Through the project, 86,165 households will receive access to sanitation services and 14,400 households will be provided with new or improved access to potable water.

"Through this program, the IDB will support the government’s efforts to improve levels of coverage, operational and commercial efficiency and the financial sustainability of service providers," said Sergio Campos, project team leader for IDB.

The loan will finance works to expand drinking water and sanitation coverage through the rehabilitation, expansion and optimization of the water collection systems, as well as to provide systems for water treatment and distribution, sewage treatment and disposal, and storm water drainage.

Under another component of the program, investments will be made to increase the sustainability of water and sanitation service providers and to strengthen regulatory institutions.

The Norte Grande region, which includes the provinces of Jujuy, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Chaco, Corrientes, Formosa, Misiones and Salta, is home to 20.6% of Argentina’s population. Compared with other regions of the country, it is relatively a poor area.

The loan is for 24 years, with a 6.5-year grace period and a variable interest rate based on Libor. The Argentine government will provide $55 million in counterpart funding for the program.

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