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LatinNews Daily - 04 February 2021

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In brief: Paraguay announces new pay-out for workers affected by pandemic

* The head of Paraguay’s social security institute (IPS), Andrés Gubetich, has announced that next week the government will pay out more subsidies to formal workers whose jobs were suspended as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Gubetich said that the payments of around G$1.09m (US$158) would benefit around 18,000 people, down from the nearly 110,000 furloughed last year. These are the tenth such monthly payments, which Gubetich said would be guaranteed “at least until March”. He said the drop in workers whose jobs were suspended reflected an “important reactivation of the economy” which is forecast to have shrunk by 1.6% in 2020 on the latest (December 2020) estimates from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (Eclac). Last month the IPS director of economic benefits, Pedro Halley, said that the IPS had received some US$100m for these subsidies in April 2020, of which some US$35m remained.