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IDB will sponsor conference on active aging in Latin America June 1-2

The Inter-American Development Bank will host a two-day international "Consultation on Active Aging" June 1-2 to review the condition of older people and to identify strategies to support active and healthy aging, particularly for the poorest populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The inaugural session of the meeting, sponsored by the IDB, the Pan-American Health Organization, the International Federation on Aging, and HelpAge International, will take place on June 1 at 8:30 a.m. at the Andrés Bello Auditorium in the IDB headquarters building in Washington, D.C., at 1300 New York Ave.

IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias, PAHO Director George A.O. Alleyne, HelpAge Chief Executive Todd Petersen, and IFA Vice-President for the region Ramón Gutmann, will open the conference, expected to help develop an IDB operational policy to promote programs for active and healthy aging and the reduction of poverty among the older adult population in Latin America.

Experts invited to the conference also include Jeanette Takamura, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Administration on Aging, and Horace Deets, Executive Director of AARP; Nancy Garrard, Director of the Division of Aging and Seniors of Health Canada; Paivi Topo of STAKES, Finland; Kerry Persson of Swedish Healthcare, AB; Xiao Caiwei, International Deputy Director of the National Committee on Aging of China; and Taichi Ono of the Embassy of Japan and Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Studies by the IDB and other organizations show that the age structure of the population in Latin America will progressively acquire the characteristics of the industrialized countries: the estimated 7.8 percent of the population over 60 years old now, will double to 14.1 percent by 2025 --around 97.7 million persons, of which 25.9 million will be over 75.

The participants will discuss the overall situation and the demands of an aging population and will identify effective policies and programs in areas such as employment, technology, social services, health, housing, urban development, education and recreation.

Experts from the IDB, PAHO/WHO and the Andaluzan School of Public Health of Spain, will present the results of studies carried out in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, three of the countries in the Americas most affected by the aging of their population.