Ecuador will receive $7.15 billion in loans by end of year; City buses extend hours; Yaku Perez to resign

Oct 5, 2020 | 22 comments

President Lenín Moreno announced Sunday that Ecuador will receive $7.15 billion during the next three months from five different international agencies. The money will be used to compensate laid-off workers, catch up salaries to government employees, pay contractors and cover arrears to local governments. In addition, the president said that funds would be used to increase payments to poor families suffering hardship from the Covid pandemic restrictions.

Azuay Province Prefect Yaku Perez

The funds will be provided by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Andean Development Corporation and two Chinese banks.

“We have suffered severe economic shocks from the coronavirus and the infusion of money into our economy is critical to many sectors, particularly the country’s poorest citizens,” Moreno said in a brief televised statement to the nation. He said that $2 billion received Friday from the IMF has already been disbursed. “As funds become available, it is my intention to move it quickly to those who need it the most,” he said.

Moreno said that more than one million households are in “extreme need” and that he has instructed ministry officials to make those a priority. “The money for these families, whether it be unpaid pensions or other support must come quickly. This is my main focus,” he said.

He said that 200,000 households will be added to the 250,000 that currently receive the so-called “poor bonus,” a monthly payment of about $70 a month.

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Buses extend service
The hours of Cuenca bus service will be extended beginning Monday, October 5, a spokesman for bus owners said Saturday. Buses will run until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 7 p.m. Sunday.

“Our ridership is still far below what it was in January but has increased to the extent that we can now extend our hour of operation,” says Manolo Solis, president of the Cuenca Chamber of Transportation, which represents city bus owners. He said that buses have upgraded security cameras and will continue to disinfect buses on a regular schedule. “Despite the hardships, owners have made significant investments in their units to provide safety and comfort to our riders.

Yaku Perez to resign today as prefect
Azuay Province Prefect Yaku Perez will officially announce his resignation Monday. He is the presidential candidate for the indigenous Pachakutik party. Vice-prefect Cecilia Méndez will become interim prefect and the prefectura governing council will choose a permanent successor, most likely Maria Cecilia Alvarado, Ivan Granda or Magaly Quezad.

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