Costa Rica is borrowing a $ 300 million loan from the World Bank to boost its economy ravaged by travel restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new money will help Costa Rica protect “people’s incomes and jobs from the impact” of the pandemic, the lender said in a statement. declaration.
The bank also expects Costa Rica to strengthen small and medium-sized businesses and strengthen fiscal sustainability and the foundation for building a strong post-pandemic recovery.
“Costa Rica has a strong health system and the authorities reacted quickly to the health emergency; nonetheless, the country has experienced the greatest social, economic and physical impacts since 2020, and is currently facing a third and severe wave of COVID-19, ”the bank said.
The news comes barely a week after lawmakers in the Central American country approved a $ 1.8 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The tourism-dependent country saw 2 million fewer international visitors in 2020 than the year before, a nearly 70% drop in demand. This dealt a severe blow to the industry which employed over 200,000 Costa Ricans.
The country’s economy contracted 4.5% last year, with the budget deficit reaching 8.7% of GDP.