Peru Authorizes $77.2 Mlln Credit for VRAE Works

Peru’s government authorized Wednesday a supplementary credit of 210 million soles ($77.2 million) to support public investment in the Apurimac and Ene river valley, state news agency Andina reported.

The funds will be used by regional and local governments to support projects aimed at improving the social and economic conditions of the poorest groups in the area, the report said.

The government’s strategy is to redirect and boost socio-economic development in the area as a key component to reduce and eventually eliminate the illicit drug trade.

The VRAE is a high jungle region located in south-central Peru straddling the departments of Junin, Huancavelica, Ayacucho and northern Cusco. It is the country’s top producer of coca leaves, which is used to make cocaine. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said earlier this month that it estimates Peru is the world’s biggest producer of pure cocaine, while Colombia and Bolivia are second and third, respectively.

Public infrastructure, education and health nationwide

Also on Wednesday, the government approved the use of more than 765 million soles for the maintenance of public infrastructure works, including schools, health centers, roads, as well as agriculture and water infrastructure.

Andina said that 129 million soles will be used for education institutions, while 204 million soles will be for health centers and hospitals.

The government has put aside 332 million soles for the maintenance of national road infrastructure. The maintenance is the responsibility of the regional and local governments.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the World Bank announced that it approved a line of credit to Peru worth $3 billion. Those funds are intended to be used for social programs during President Ollanta Humala’s five year-term.

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