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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Secures $28M Loan

WASHINGTON -- The World Bank on Tuesday approved a $28.6 million loan to Russia and said it would be used to pay for infrastructure and auditing to implement a big social protection loan approved in June.

A World Bank statement said the new credit would also pay for training and equipment needed for Russia to develop new systems for pensions, unemployment pay and child assistance.

"The policy reforms ... will serve to raise and stabilize incomes of the poor and strengthen social safety nets over the medium term," project manager Betty Hanan said. "The programs under both loans will improve the lives of over 15 million people over the medium and longer term."

The World Bank has already loaned Russia $8.3 billion for 38 separate projects, including the June loan of $800 million for social protection.

That was the biggest single loan the World Bank had ever offered to a country in Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union and the third largest loan in the bank's history.

Officials view a new system of social protection, including pension rules and a more efficient, means-tested social safety net, as an essential element in Russia's economic reforms.