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The country has purchased 9,130,725 vaccine doses from Pfizer/ BioNTech, AstraZeneca and the multilateral mechanism COVAX.
- Casa Presidencial photo-

Published Tuesday, June 1, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government announced on Monday a new loan of $80 million with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, CABEI, for the purchase of vaccines against covid-19.

CABEI headquarters is in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and has regional offices in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

The loan period is of 20 years with an interest rate of 3.86%, the government said.

The country has purchased 9,130,725 vaccine doses from Pfizer/ BioNTech, AstraZeneca and the multilateral mechanism COVAX. Of these, 2,148,525 vaccines have been received.

However, the loan must first be approved by Congress. It is expected that during this week the deputies will determine the approval or rejection of this new loan.

If the loan is approved, the funds will be transferred to the National Emergency Fund to proceed with the purchasing of vaccines and supplies necessary for the development of the national vaccination campaign. Among the supplies needed are: syringes, cotton wool and freezers.

This is the second approved loan from an international bank announced this month.

Earlier last month, the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB, announced the approval of two loans totaling $500 million. The loans are for $250 million each, with an interest rate based on LIBOR.

According to the Washington-based bank, Costa Rica will press ahead with its structural fiscal reforms program aimed at boosting fiscal management efficiency and equity, and promoting sustainable economic recovery with those loans.

The first loan, which complements the economic program that the country has agreed with the International Monetary Fund, is for a 7-year term, with a 3-year grace period.

It includes contingency measures to raise sanitary emergency spending and assistance for households and businesses affected by the covid-19 crisis. It also contemplates a structural increase in spending on social programs for vulnerable communities to reduce poverty and inequality. The loan will help move to protect public investment in productive infrastructure.

The second loan, under the programmatic policy-based loan modality, has a repayment term of 20 years, with a 5.5- year grace period.

The loan will provide support to structural reforms aimed at boosting the efficacy of the institutional macro-fiscal framework, increasing the efficiency and progressiveness of the tax system, and improving public spending effectiveness and equity.

All these measures will contribute to strengthening public finances and fostering solid economic recovery in the post-pandemic stage, the bank said in its statement.

The Inter-American Development Bank, founded in 1959, offers long-term loans to Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Should Congress approve the loan for purchasing more vaccines? 
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