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Posts Tagged ‘financing’

IDB loan to assist Panamanian students

IDB loan will assist Panamanian children

Inter-American Development Bank News Release
June 7, 2012 – News Release

IDB loan for US$70 million to benefit more than 38,000 Panamanian students

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a loan for $70 million to provide innovative educational infrastructure to 47 communities in Panama that will benefit more than 38,000 students. The goal is to expand educational opportunities and encourage students in marginal and indigenous areas to complete basic education.

More than a third of Panamanians between the ages of 13 and 17 do not attend school. Coverage levels are especially low for the groups targeted by the program. For example, in the Ngäbe-Buglé and Guna Yala indigenous administrative regions, only 43 percent of youths attend secondary school.

The IDB financing will be used to expand and equip 20 primary schools to include grades seven to nine and construct two model schools that will have innovative facilities and will employ a new pedagogical and educational management approach. These investments are expected to result in the matriculation of 10,000 new students from preschool through secondary school.

In addition, the program will providing 47 schools with classrooms designed to facilitate learning. The basic curriculum will be updated to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century, and training and support will be extended to staff and faculty in school management, pedagogy, and curriculum content.

Only 62 percent of Panamanian schools have drinking water in Panama, compared with 77 percent for the Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole. Half have adequate sanitation, compared with 65 percent for the region

Studies indicate that the quality of a school’s physical environment directly affects both the motivation and behavior of teachers as well as learning, discipline, and attention levels of the students.

Schools benefiting from the program are located poor areas with high dropout rates in the provinces of Panamá, Coclé, Colón, Chiriquí, Los Santos, and the indigenous administrative areas of Ngäbe-Buglé and Guna Yala.

The financing was extended for a 25-year term with a grace period of four years and a variable interest rate based on LIBOR. Counterpart funding totals $10 million.

New release thanks to IDB website: http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-releases/2012-06-07/panama-will-improve-school-infrastructure,10017.html

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We are usually not a news site but since our family is very closely connected to Japan and the Japanese community here in Panama, we decided to post this important bulletin related to both Panama and Japan from the Daily Yomiuri in Tokyo. Because of Panama´s importance in World Trade and strategic position not only for shipping, the Japanese have historically been very generous with both assistance and funding to Panama.

The Daily Yomiuri is one of Japan´s English news sites and a great way to keep up with what is happening in Asia.

Japanese Group to Finance Panama Canal Project

The Yomiuri Shimbun – Japanese financial institutions have agreed in principle with the Panama Canal Authority to provide 800 million dollars for a project to widen the canal to alleviate congestion in it, it was learned Saturday.

According to sources, of the 800 million dollars, the Japan Finance Corporation’s Japan Bank for International Cooperation will provide 400 million dollars, and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and others will provide the remaining 400 million dollars through joint financing.

The Panama Canal is a major artery connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. However, the canal is chronically congested, causing a wait time of several days for ocean vessels wanting to enter it.

To help solve the problem, excavation of trenches along both sides of the 80-kilometer-long canal began in 2007, to be completed in 2014, the 100th anniversary of the opening of the canal.

The Panama Canal Authority plans to procure 2.3 billion dollars of the total project cost of 5.25 billion dollars from overseas, from such sources as Japanese financial institutions and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The Japanese financial institutions determined they would be able to recoup their loans as the Panama Canal Authority has begun raising the canal’s tolls, according to the JBIC’s Americas Finance Department.

Japan is the third most frequent user of the canal, following the United States and China. A consortium of Taisei Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp., both Japanese companies, and U.S.-based Bechtel Corp. has announced its plan to undertake the widening project.

With its completion, the shipping volume will double in the canal, and more types of vessels will be able to use it, including mid-size oil tankers and liquefied natural gas carriers in addition to the current container vessels.

The project is also expected to drastically reduce the time it takes to transport oil from Latin American countries, which is usually transported via the Cape of Good Hope off South Africa.

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