El Salvador to receive $150 million from development bank for education

FILE PHOTO: Flag hangs outside El Salvador Consulate General in Manhattan, New York City

(This Dec. 21 story has been refiled to fix incorrect company ticker symbol)

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador will receive a $150 million loan from Latin American development bank CAF to strengthen its education system, the lender said in a Wednesday statement.

The board of CAF approved the loan - the country's first from the bank - which will be used on equipment, training and closing the digital gap in Salvadoran schools, the bank said in a statement.

"We are a strategic ally for the development of countries with comprehensive programs like this," said CAF Executive President Sergio Diaz-Granados in the statement, adding the coronavirus pandemic had created an "educational emergency" in the country.

El Salvador, which made Bitcoin official tender last year, became a full member of CAF in March in search of expanding its financing sources.

In September, CAF representative to the country Oscar Avalle said in a television interview that the lender was working with the Salvadoran government on obtaining the loan.

The government expects the Central American country's economy to grow 2.8% in 2022 after rebounding from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021 with 10.3% growth.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Aurora Ellis)