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Latin America & Caribbean

Latin America, Africa Partner on Managing Commodity Wealth

John Nash's picture

It's only fitting that a country largely built on mineral abundance has been the venue for a critical discussion on how to manage natural resource wealth.

A group of World Bank experts, including myself, met in Johannesburg last week with high-level policy makers, civil society representatives and academics, to exchange experiences and enhance our understanding of the theoretical and practical issues unique to resource-dependent economies. As a long-standing major commodity exporting region, Latin America has many lessons of experience – positive and negative -- to share with other developing regions on management of the wealth from natural resources.

There is nothing ‘Natural’ in Natural Disasters

Joaquin Toro's picture

In the last few months we have witnessed "natural events" that have resulted in huge disasters with tragic consequences. From the November Rio de Janeiro mudslides to the March Japan tsunami and, more recently and closer to home, the tornadoes that devastated large parts of Missouri, 'natural disasters' are becoming household names.

How resilient really were emerging economies to the global crisis?

Tatiana Didier's picture

Pretty much like in any crisis of huge proportions, the real story of what happened during the global financial crisis is beginning to emerge after the dust has finally settled.

For Latin America and the Caribbean, the story is slightly different than what has previously been reported. Yes, the region weathered the recession well compared to other, emerging and developed, economies and resumed growth faster than many. But it didn't emerge from it largely unscathed as was initially suggested.

Latin America: stop road deaths now

Aurelio Menéndez's picture

Latin America: stop road deaths now

From now until 2020, 10 million people – the population of a small Latin American country – are expected to die in traffic accidents around the world. Latin America itself is a prime victim of this trend: sadly, the region endures the highest number of fatalities caused by automobile accidents in the world.

However, this number could be halved if every single one of us commit to improving road safety. The international community has already moved this issue at the top of its agenda by joining the United Nations in declaring 2011-2020 as the "Decade of Action for Road Safety", which kicks off this week.

Latin America: more public-private partnerships needed to improve infrastructure

Jordan Z. Schwartz's picture

Latin America: more public-private partnerships needed to improve infrastructure

There are three people in Latin American and the Caribbean who care about Public-Private Partnerships or PPPs as they’re widely known. You may have met them. You might even be one. In case not, let me introduce you...

First and foremost, please meet Madame Minister of Finance. She’s busy, she’s stressed and she’s always balancing two concerns that run counter to each other, at least in the short run: growth and budget. Private investment in services might help one without hurting the other.

Is climate change to blame for high food prices?

John Nash's picture


If you were to throw out the question of what, if any, is the connection between climate change and the current food crisis, I suspect that many people would answer instinctively that global warming is at least partially responsible for the spiraling food prices.  Why? Because –they would argue- it caused the various extreme weather events that disrupted production in major producing regions from Eastern Europe and Central Asia to Australia to Latin America’s  Southern Cone. 

Is the hypothesis of that connection valid?  Well, no and yes.  ‘No’, in the sense that we really can’t attribute specific climatic events to global warming. After all, even without climate change, extreme events happen:  a once-in-a-hundred-year event happens once in a hundred years (duh!).

Facebook: show your “like” for the environment planting a tree

Carlos Molina's picture

Two Mexican developers are hoping to raise awareness about the environment with a Facebook application that takes a swipe at deforestation. TreePet lets users plant virtual trees that can be "transplanted" to real forests thanks to partnerships with 'green' organizations, say developers Rodrigo Lopez and Claudia Gonzalez. They received praise and honorable mentions at the World Bank Applications for Development competition that rewarded 13 other programmers for their inventiveness to push forward the development agenda. Here's our video conversation with them.

Does Latin America have the Recipe to End the Food Crisis?

Carlos Molina's picture


In the current food price debate, there's plenty that Latin America can bring to the table.

A newly released World Bank report highlights the region's potential to help solve the food crisis given its huge natural resources -land, water- and agricultural expertise.

On global issues, Latin America is now part of the solution

Sergio Jellinek's picture


When it comes to solving global issues, Latin America is now on the side of those regions that are part of the solution and not of the problem.

This time around the region is not at the center –but rather at the receiving end- of the various crises that have visited us recently, including the global financial crisis, climate change, or the current food and fuel crises.

Wanted: a new strategy to fight crime in Latin America

Maninder Gill's picture

What strikes me most as we engage further in citizen security issues in Latin America and the Caribbean is the level of interconnectivity that can be found at every possible level.

To begin with, of course, are the criminals themselves. Crucial to the success of organized criminal organizations is their ability to transcend borders and effectively integrate the very diverse and harmful facets of their enterprise. We also know how much the different forms of crime – drug traffickers, gun traffickers, youth gangs -- feed off one another. This is especially salient in Central America and Mexico, two of our team's priorities.

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