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Latin America: Most still keep their money under the mattress

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt's picture

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money under the mattress

Handing out a debit card or a 10 dollar bill to the fast-food franchise attendant is probably as natural to most people as buying their lunch every day. Many don't see this as a separate process but as an intrinsic part of the whole "getting lunch" deal.

This, however, doesn't hold true for 250 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over 60 percent of Latin Americans adults are still unbanked and, as a consequence, unable to access plastic, checks, credit or other forms of banking tools that make life easy –and, in some cases, help achieve life goals such as buying a home or saving for retirement.

Latin America to the world: lessons learned on austerity, growth, reforms

Hasan Tuluy's picture

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Made in Latin America

'Made in Latin America'. Wouldn't that be a great label? --one that would slowly work its way out of the realm of some imaginary Latin American products to become a real seal of approval for many endeavors and accomplishments by the region.

I'm in Miami for the Seventh Annual Latin America Conference to talk about the region's prospects to decision makers, and I can't think of a better place to come up with such label --'My-ami', I muse, the Latin American economic and social melting pot that has been called many times the region's business capital.

Brazil: Redefining 'resettlement' to meet urban challenges

Fabio Pittaluga's picture

Pelourinho, Salvador de Bahia

It is no secret Brazil is undergoing a “renaissance” of sorts. After decades of rough economic times marred by the stigma of deep inequity and social exclusion, Brazil has emerged as an economic powerhouse in the region and globally.

Sustaining such momentum, however, demands and will continue to demand substantial investments in infrastructure. This is particularly true in Brazil’s urban spaces –especially the megacities and a growing number of smaller but important cities and towns-- where more than 80 percent of the country’s population lives.

Doubling down on early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Keith Hansen's picture

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Centro Aeiotú, Bogotá. / Foto: Yanina Budkin

Two years after the World Bank joined forces with Shakira and ALAS to create the Early Childhood Initiative, a happy second birthday for the program will mean millions of happier birthdays for children throughout the region.

About 5 million children and their mothers are already enjoying the benefits of this initiative which has seen investments of $400 million—more than double what we expected by this stage, and $100 million more than the total forecast for the program overall.

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Africa: In search of the Brazilian economic miracle

Susana Carrillo's picture

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África: en busca del milagro económico brasileño

 
During the second half of 2011, relations between Africa and Brazil continued to flourish as part of the historic trade, cultural and economic rapprochement of the two economic juggernauts. Specifically, African governments asked for more financing from the South American country to implement development projects, according to Brazil’s National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES).

Key reasons for intensifying this relationship include the fact that Brazil is now the world’s sixth-largest economy (after China, the United States, France, Germany and Japan) and that it has become a major player in South-South cooperation.

Can Africa become the next Brazil?

Susana Carrillo's picture

Brazil and Africa, new partners

Linked in the distant past through colonial-era trade enterprises, Brazil and Africa are becoming close partners again. More than two centuries after establishing a slave trade route across the Atlantic, both regions are again re-engaging, this time around to exchange knowledge and potentiate economic and social development.

Sub-Saharan African countries are looking to replicate Brazil’s successes in boosting agriculture production and exports, and private investments, which have made Brazil a key economic player in the international arena.

Earth hits 7 billion mark, Brazil’s clinics provide hope to the poor

Carlos Molina's picture

As the world’s population hits today the 7 billion mark, unleashing mixed emotions across the globe, Latin America can consider itself lucky that overcrowding is not that big of a deal in our neck of the woods.

Or is it? Experts point out that while the region’s share of the world’s population is a mere 8% -or 560 million- a great concern is that the vast majority of those people –up to 75%- live in cities, leading to overstressed basic services, such as healthcare. My colleague James Martone of the Broadcast Unit, went to Northern Brazil to film a project about a community that has found innovative ways to provide healthcare for the poor.
 

Brazil: fighting poverty with music

James Martone's picture

Brazil's celebrated love for music is playing a key role in the future of many underprivileged kids, especially women. But it isn't samba, forro, funk or any Hollywood-inspired dance moving thousands of Brazilian kids towards success. It is, instead, classical music.

Thanks to a community project supported by the World Bank more than 200 community associations receive funding to finance lessons and instruments for aspiring young musicians –many of whom have found jobs in philharmonic orchestras as a result of this training. Cameraman Romel Simon and I visited the city of Sao Tome in North Eastern Brazil to document the progress of this initiative, as part of a series of videos for our gender campaign.
 

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