The World Bank will support innovative, comprehensive solutions for Asunción’s Riverfront

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Washington: The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$105 million loan to develop the Asunción riverfront, promoting the city’s sustainable transformation.

“This project proposes innovative, comprehensive solutions for both infrastructure and social problems. It was developed in a participatory manner and its implementation includes frequent coordination and collaboration between institutions and sectors. It is also a crucial project for the post-pandemic recovery,” said Rodolfo Segovia, Minister of Public Works and Communications.

The project’s comprehensive approach includes: (i) environmental resilience in the event of flooding and other impacts produced by climate change; (ii) physical resilience through the creation of green and safe housing and infrastructure; and (iii) social and economic resilience through job creation, strengthening of local economic development and the promotion of community integration programs, with a focus on the vulnerable population in selected areas of the Bañados de Asunción.

“The World Bank supports Paraguay in its sustainable and inclusive development,” said Jordan Schwartz, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. “This project targets the vulnerable communities that reside in the area and that will now have a definitive solution to long-standing problems, as well as other Asunción residents and visitors, who will be able to enjoy high-quality, renovated public spaces.”

“We want solutions that consider and benefit everyone. Working with all community sectors is key. Asunción has many opportunities to continue developing in a more orderly, planned and sustainable way to address current challenges,” said Asunción Mayor Óscar Rodríguez.

Comprehensive Approach

Key project activities include developing an eco-inclusive district that allows definitive resettlement of families within the framework of a mixed-use, inclusive neighborhood resilient to climate change. The project will also improve three important public spaces, including squares of the historic downtown area, Parque Caballero and the Banco San Miguel reserve with a view to supporting commercial, recreational and tourism activities to attract and retain employment opportunities and preserve the city’s cultural heritage.

The loan will also finance activities to support the socioeconomic development of Bañados communities, as well as participatory urban planning, with an emphasis on the participation of women, vulnerable groups and informal workers.

“The implementation of this project will take a different approach to sustainable urban planning that includes nature-based solutions and green infrastructure. This is crucial for our capital, considering that climate change exacerbates the challenges associated with the impact of the river on Asunción residents. It is estimated that by 2040, the number of extreme weather events will double, making these measures critical for mitigating risks and adapting Asunción to future climate events,” said Carlos Alberto Pereira, Minister of Urban Planning, Housing and Habitat.

The US$105 million loan has a maturity period of 24 years, including a six-year grace period.

The World Bank in Paraguay

The World Bank Group is a strategic partner in Paraguay’s development. For over 70 years, it has provided financing, research and technical assistance. The current US$ 775 million portfolio focuses on (i) improving access to markets for agricultural producer organizations and indigenous communities; (ii) providing budget support for resilient, sustainable and inclusive economic growth; (iii) improving the quality and safety of selected routes; and (iv) strengthening primary health care services.