The World Bank has approved a loan of $142 million for a program focused on safety net support and social sector reform in Latvia.
The program backs the Latvian government’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of the reforms it undertook to respond to an economic crisis it suffered in late 2008. The government’s fiscal adjustments led to cuts in funding for the education and health sectors.
“After a severe downturn, Latvia is now beginning to emerge from the crisis and see positive signs of growth,” World Bank Country Director for Latvia Peter Harrold said in a May 26 news release from the global lender. “While Latvia has turned the corner, the lingering effects of the crisis remain. This operation ensures that society’s most vulnerable groups are shielded from the worst effects of the downturn until the growth momentum can restore employment opportunities in the economy.”
The World Bank funding will be used to support efforts by government agencies to maintain pre-primary education and child development schemes, pay for the cost of transporting students whose schools have shut down to their new locations of instruction, and free needy households from health service co-payments and subsidize their medicine costs.
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