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Latin America 4 degrees warmer? Not cool!

Erick Fernandes's picture

También disponible en español y portugués

So you may be wondering if those scenes from the movie 2012 are not too much of a stretch after all, huh?

In the Hollywood blockbuster, apocalyptic images of rising oceans, erupting volcanoes and crumbling cities prelude the end of the world as we know it. Well, let me tell you that even though I’m not a great fan of end-of-days films –I think they oversimplify issues and de-sensitize the public-- I do believe that the world as we know it is on a path to dangerous climate change

Growing the middle class

Francisco Ferreira's picture

También disponible en español

Shoppers in Chile

Since the Great Recession of 2008, there has been a widespread sense of malaise among the American middle class. Their incomes are close to stagnant, employment has not recovered, and the gap between them and the famously rich top 1% continues to grow. Look south of the Rio Grande, though, and it is quite a different picture. In the last decade, moderate poverty (under U$ 4 a day) in Latin America and the Caribbean fell from over 40% to 28%.

Is Mexico ready for its next big storm or earthquake?

Gloria M. Grandolini's picture

También disponible en español

With its long trail of death and destruction spanning the Caribbean and the US East Coast, hurricane Sandy will surely be remembered as one of the most damaging storms in recent history. As I write this blog, Sandy has claimed over 100 lives and caused more than US$50 billion in damages.

After ravaging Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica, Sandy took a turn to the Northeast, instead of pursuing a westerly trajectory, sparing the Gulf of Mexico coastline from its deadly punch.

Garantir un accès durable à l’eau potable dans les zones rurales d’Haïti

Victoria Flamant's picture

Also available in English and Spanish

Alphonsine et ses enfants doivent parcourir de longs kilomètres à pied pour pouvoir se procurer l’eau potable dont la famille a besoin tous les jours. Ils consacrent plus de dix heures par semaine à cette corvée ; ils partent de préférence au petit matin avant que la chaleur ne les accable trop. Le taux de couverture en eau dans les zones rurales d’Haïti est toujours le plus faible du continent américain : 55 % seulement de la population a accès à une source d’eau potable améliorée, contre 80 % en moyenne pour les zones rurales d’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes, selon l’OMS et l’UNICEF.

Water and sanitation in rural Haiti still just a trickle

Victoria Flamant's picture

También disponible en español y francés

Alphonsine and her three children walk over 10 hours a week just to meet their basic need for drinking water. The journey is best done in the early hours of the morning before the heat becomes unbearable.

Rural water coverage in Haiti continues to be the lowest in the Western hemisphere, with only 55% of the population having access to an improved drinking water source compared to an average of 80% for rural areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the latest available figures from WHO and UNICEF.

Fresh efforts to improve water access in Latin America

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture

También disponible en español

Water is vital, not only for people but also for green policies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Managing it not only includes preventing fatalities due to natural disasters or climate change adaptation but also providing the most vulnerable people with access to drinking water.

This is why one of the most important “green¨challenges the region faces is to create an efficient, practical and accessible water supply for all. In this video blog, Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank Sector Director for Sustainable Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, explains Mexico´s achievements and successes in this area. 

  

The Mysterious Case of Chilean Service Exports

Sebastián Sáez's picture

También disponible en español

Chile has long been known as a superstar in liberalization reforms and innovative export-led growth strategies. The country successfully exports tourism and transportation services.

But these successes are, in some ways, yesterday’s news. The country’s performance in more modern service exports – internet and communications technology, business process outsourcing and others – has been less remarkable. Chile is no India.

Is there a silver lining in natural disasters? The answer is ‘yes’

Fernando Ramírez's picture

También disponible en español 

The earthquake in Costa Rica caused serious damage, including to major national utilities such as the water network. More than 1.3 million people in San Jose depend on this system for their daily water supply. The good news though, is that the supply of this vital resource is secure, thereby saving lives and inconvenience.

Although fictional, imagine receiving this piece of good news in the midst of a disaster, as described above.

What’s more. If you are an engineer like I am, imagine the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (s) (AyA or government water agency) reported that, while more than 15% of its infrastructure had been damaged extensively by this hypothetical earthquake, vital components such as water towers and pumping stations hadn’t been compromised.

 

Système de santé en Haïti : mettre le patient au premier plan

Maryanne Sharp's picture

Also available in English and Spanish

Un arbre lui procure un peu d’ombre mais ne la protège guère de la chaleur. Chantal vient de faire la lessive familiale à la rivière. Elle est enceinte de quatre mois.

Nous sommes à une soixantaine de kilomètres au nord de la capitale haïtienne, Port-au-Prince. Le hameau où vit Chantal compte à peine vingt maisons, n’est relié que par un seul chemin de terre et ne dispose d’aucune structure médicale.

Putting the patient first in Haiti's health system

Maryanne Sharp's picture

También disponible en español y en francés

The tree provides shade but scant respite from the heat. Chantal, four months pregnant, has just returned from washing her family’s clothes in the nearby river.

Her small village, just twenty houses and a single dirt road located about 60 kilometers north of the capital Port-au-Prince, has no health facilities of any kind. The nearest health post (staffed for two hours a day by a high school graduate) is an hour’s walk away while the nearest health center is two.

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