Mexico Gets $400 Million Rural Development Loan From World Bank

  • Program will help increase credit in agriculture: World Bank
  • Lending will benefit some of poorest Mexicans, bank says

Mexico on Friday plans to sign an agreement for a $400 million loan from the World Bank to help Latin America’s second-largest economy develop rural areas by lending to farmers and fishermen, according to the bank.

The loan will help Mexico’s national agricultural financing agency, known as FND, increase loans to small- and medium-sized businesses with limited access to credit, according to documents provided by the World Bank. The project, which will last 5 years, is expected to benefit Mexicans living in extreme poverty, including women and indigenous people, according to a November outline of the project.

Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto has made fostering growth in rural areas one of his top priorities and has promoted measures aiming to raise living standards in the southern states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas. In 2012, the year that Pena Nieto took office, 31 percent of rural Mexicans lived in extreme poverty based on income, compared with 13 percent in urban areas, the World Bank says, citing data from Mexico’s social policy evaluation council known as Coneval.

Alleviating poverty is also key to the Pena Nieto administration’s long-term strategy to curb violence and reduce financial incentives of drug trafficking and other illegal activities.

Mexico’s Finance Ministry confirmed the planned signing of a loan agreement with the World Bank in an e-mailed statement. The ministry’s press office declined to comment on the amount of the loan or provide more details on the agreement.

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