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Latin America & Caribbean

Back from the brink: visiting Medellin 20 years later

Felipe Jaramillo's picture

También disponible en español

Medellin

Rewind 20 years. Medellin, Colombia, is the murder capital of the world, with over 300 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

Pablo Escobar and his drug trafficking cronies are the heroes of the comunas -- the hillside low-income barrios that oversee the skyscrapers of the modern downtown. Shootings, kidnappings and rampant lawlessness are the stuff of daily headlines. Teenage boys in the comunas want to be Escobar henchmen, quick with the gun and fast with the girls. And after Escobar was killed in a graphic shootout with police in 1994, they dream of becoming paramilitary ‘rambos’, inspired by the violent squads that plagued the countryside since the mid-1990s.

Gender-Based Violence: Is it the World Bank’s Business?

Maria Beatriz Orlando's picture

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Distribution of solar light bulbs/flashlights at the KOFAVIV Women's Center, February 10,
2012.

Gender inequality comes in many shapes and (depressing) colors.  A recent trip to Haiti showed me and my colleagues, perhaps its ugliest and most damaging face: violence against women of all ages, including babies. But as ugly as it is, can we make it our business?

I think the answer is yes. Here is why.

Making Latin America’s decade a reality

Hasan Tuluy's picture

También disponible en español

Making Latin America’s decade a reality

As I get ready to join the discussions on Latin America's development at the IDB's Montevideo Assembly, one word keeps coming to me in slow motion, like scenes from a movie: part-ner-ships.

It is easy to see why such word is so important these days of uncertainty in global markets and economies -where joining efforts has been the sensible way forward and out of major peril.

Can business save the planet?

Lindsay Clinton's picture

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Can business save the planet?

This year marks two especially significant milestones in sustainable development: the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the 25th anniversary of the Brundtland Report, Our Common Future.

How far have we come since the concept of sustainable development was elevated to the global policy agenda? To put it simply, not far enough....

"How I managed to turn disability into opportunity"

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Personas con discapacidad luchan por inclusión social

In 1980, as a pilot with the Ecuadorean Air Force, I suffered a serious accident while flying to remote Amazonian communities. A spinal cord injury had me on the verge of death.

The doctors who treated me in Quito told my family that, given the seriousness of my injury, I had little chance for survival. The accident paralyzed me from head to toe – quadriplegia, in medical terms. Unfortunately, 30 years ago my country did not have the medical facilities to treat these cases. I received intensive care at a U.S. hospital.

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

También disponible en español
 

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.

Colombia: sewing machines help the displaced weave brighter futures

Ana Revenga's picture

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Displaced woman in Colombia

Imagine that one day you are forced to leave your home with only the clothes on your back. You have no house, land, supplies, work or friends. You cannot return. The only thing you have left is your will to survive and to protect your family. You arrive in a new city to start from scratch. Everything seems overwhelming. You realize you have lost in two ways: as a woman and now as a displaced person.

This is the experience of millions of displaced women in Colombia, such as the ones we met at the Foundation for Development and Progress (FUNDESPRO) in Bogota.The Foundation works with the government to aid victims, especially women, of the Colombian civil conflict, as part of a World Bank initiative supported through the Peace and Development Program.

Haiti : Sauvegarder la vie des meres et des enfants a travers un meilleur système de santé

Marie Chantal Messier's picture

Also available in English

 Photo: Anne Poulsen

L'histoire de Nelta n'est pas rare de nos jours en Haiti. Il y a quelques mois, Nelta a donné naissance à son deuxième enfant, Jasmine, dans sa modeste maison de la ville de Jacmel, située près de 45 kilomètres au sud de Port-au-Prince. 

De façon inattendue, au cours de son septième mois de grossesse, Nelta a commencé à avoir des contractions. Vu la distance entre sa demeure et la clinique de santé, elle n’a pas pu arriver à temps pour l'accouchement. Jasmine est née prématurément et avec un faible poids à la naissance.

Haiti: Saving lives of mothers and children with better healthcare

Marie Chantal Messier's picture

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Photo: Anne Poulsen

The story of Nelta is not uncommon in present-day Haiti. A few months ago, she gave birth to her second child, Jasmine, at her modest home, in the town of Jacmel, 30 miles south of Port-au-Prince.

Unexpectedly, she went into labor when she was 7 months pregnant, but lived too far from the health center to be able to get there in time for delivery. Jasmine was born prematurely and with a low birth weight.

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