The World Bank approved a $72.5 million loan for Costa Rica to revamp its Caribbean port city of Limón, the government announced.
Called the Port-City Limón Integrated Infrastructure Project, the loan is one of three initiatives for the region pushed by President Oscar Arias, said Casa Presidencial spokeswoman Eugenia Sancho.
It will help make the other two initiatives possible, as they include broadening social programs in such areas as public health and overhauling the ports to build the site into a mega-port, Sancho said.
The Arias administration has earmarked $7.5 million in Costa Rican funds to assist in Limón’s renewal in conjunction with the World Bank loan.
According to a statement by the World Bank, the loan is meant to be invested in urban upgrade, restoring emblematic cultural heritage sites and providing basic services to Limón’s poorest inhabitants.
It’s also aimed at raising employment and income through the development of micro and small businesses, providing training assistance and buoying the region’s cruise tourism sector.
Additionally, it is hoped that the fresh funding will improve transport to the Limón and Moín port terminals, including the repair of the bridge over the ChirripóRiver.
“The plan is really to change the face of Limón,” said Sancho.
The loan is to be repaid in 15 years.