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News > Paraguay

Paraguay: Socio-Environmental Income to Fund Covid-19 Struggle

  • An AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab at a hospital in San Lorenzo, Paraguay, March 26, 2021.

    An AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab at a hospital in San Lorenzo, Paraguay, March 26, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @leo_derenze

Published 24 April 2021

The President of Paraguay is undecided on a bill approved with opposition votes in Paraguay's lower House, allowing the use of the country's socio-environmental funds from the trinational dams of Yacireta and Itaipu to deal with the health emergency generated by COVID-19.  I

It is now up to President Abdo to decide on the law.


Paraguay's President Justifies His Pandemic Mishandling

The bill seeks to allocate to the Ministry of Health US$150 million from the Paraguayan part of the exploitation of the Itaipu and Yacyreta hydropower plants, which are respectively operated with Brazil and Argentina.

The measure was promoted by the Paraguayan opposition to improve the country's response capacity to COVID-19.

The bill passed with 40 votes in favor and 39 against. The ruling right-wing Colorado Party's legislators rejected the bill for being "populist".

In recent months, Paraguay has faced mass protests calling for the resignation or impeachment of President Mario Abdo Benitez because of the Government's poor handling of the COVID-19 crisis.


The president asked the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for reports on the bill before deciding on it.


This will not be the first time funds are redirected to face the pandemic. Abdo already redirected $30 million from a bi-national bridge construction with Brazil to the Health Ministry just last week.

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