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World Bank loans Uruguay $18.5 million to tackle foot and mouth disease

World Bank loans Uruguay $18.5 million to tackle foot and mouth disease

The World Bank has approved an $18.5 million loan to Uruguay to support the Foot and Mouth Disease Emergency Recovery Project - the Bank's first urgent operation to help alleviate the economic impact of an outbreak.

"With more than 6 per cent of Uruguay's GDP and almost 20 per cent of total exports related to livestock production, every effort should be made to eradicate this disease with no borders," said Myrna Alexander, World Bank Director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, in a statement issued today. "The Bank is signalling its commitment to support this effort."

The Project, to be implemented over a period of two years, will provide technical and financial support to the Government of Uruguay to help contain and mitigate the impact of the outbreak.

"With support from the Project, we are confident that Uruguay will rapidly regain the Foot and Mouth Disease-free status (without vaccination) it enjoyed from May 1996 to April 2001," said Michael Carroll, the World Bank task manager for the Project.

The loan will also support training, education and awareness programmes to increase the information about disease prevention to producers and the public.

The $18.5 million, fixed-spread loan has a 15-year maturity, including a 5-year grace period.