Latvia signed a EUR100 million loan deal with the World Bank on Friday which will be used to boost social security in the recession-hit country. The loan is part of a EUR 7.5 billion international financial support program led by the IMF and the EU that Latvia took at the end of 2008 as its economy nosedived. The loan is the first of two installments In all, the World Bank is contributing EUR400 million to the package to support the banking sector and protect the poor and unemployed. Baltic Business Daily writes that the agreement was signed by Finance Minister Einars Repse and World Bank Director for Central Europe and Baltic Peter Harrold. The aim is to protect the most vulnerable social groups and we hope that it would help those people, Harrold said. When asked how the World Bank would make sure that the financing is spent for the intended purposes, he said that the Latvian State Auditor’s Office would have an important role in supervising use of those funds and he was confident that this organization would cope with this task. (Reuters, AFP)

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