Economic consequences continue
bolivia | by Miguel Centellas | 10 Jan, 2004 at 05:01 AM | comments (0) | trackback (0)

Newspapers announced the World Bank & IMF have reconsidered Bolivia's risk after October and will act accordingly. The guerra del gas lost Bolivia the option of exporting gas — at any price — until another buyer shows up (Sempra already signed a contract w/ Indonesia). Now it's announced Bolivia's economic aid (on which it survives) depends entirely on whether there's a repeat of October. $150 million if there's no conflict, $100 million if limited conflict, only $45 million if October-like conflict.

The international economic organs had expected Bolivian gas exports to lift the country out of its economic crisis and help pay off the crushing foreign debt. That option's disappeared for the time being. And October raised the risk of investment.

Meanwhile, the US is putting together a conference in which Bolivia hopes to offer peace & stability in exchange for $100 million in aid (the headline in La Razón read: "El país buscará $us 100 millones a cambio de paz"). The money would finance Bolivia's 2004 budget.

The Grupo de Apoyo a Bolivia meets 16 January in Washington, DC. The group includes 17 countries (up from 15 before), including France, Germany, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, as well as several international NGOs.

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