By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a $20 million loan to Panama to help finance a rural electrification programme in the country.
The project aims to provide electricity for 10,000 rural households, many of which are located in very poor remote areas of Panama.
The IDB said the initiative would also provide electricity for 107 schools and 21 health centres, increasing electricity coverage in rural areas to 81 percent by 2018.
The project will focus on subsidies for new investments which aim to motivate private businesses to invest in rural electrification, either through green energy or grid extension.
Green projects that are eligible for funding include hydroelectric, wind power and solar photovoltaic projects.
The funding is coming from two sources: a $10 million IDB loan and $10 million from China’s Co-Financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, along with a local counterpart contribution of $2.25 million.