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IDB approves first program focused entirely on benefitting the elderly poor in Latin America

Inter-American Development Bank announced today the approval of its first program dedicated exclusively to addressing the needs of the poorest of the elderly in Latin America and improving their quality of life.

A $750,000 grant from the Japan Special Fund, which is administered by the IDB, will strengthen organizations of older adults that benefit the elderly in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay and improve the capability of a regional network and seven national networks to support these organizations.

The resources will finance leadership courses for 2,380 elderly persons and strengthen more than 3,000 organizations that benefit the elderly.

Technical assistance and training will be provided to coordinate activities of public agencies and civil society that are working to fulfill unmet needs of senior citizens, and a project bank will be established.

The program will be carried out HelpAge Bolivia and Red Tiempos, based in Santiago, Chile, together with the ISALUD Foundation in Argentina, the Banco de Previsión Social in Uruguay and the Uruguayan National Network of Older Adults and the Mesa de Trabajo de ONG y Afines in Peru.

"Many of elderly are in a delicate economic situation, and a large number of them are outside of the formal pension system," commented Tomás Engler, the IDB project team leader.

The aging population is growing in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, while in Peru a large sector of the population is in the informal economy where the elderly have poor or nonexistent social services, Engler noted.

Organizations strengthened by the IDB-financed program will be better able to provide meals, home care, social activities, education and training and advocacy skills, among others.

"This project seeks to benefit from the special expertise developed by Japan in dealing with an aging population," Engler commented.

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