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Reforms defended
Even though Latin America is still beset by many problems, the countries that have made economic reforms are headed in the right direction, IDB economist Eduardo Lora told participants at an international meeting of economists in Havana, Cuba, last January.

According to Lora, these reforms have paved the way for economic growth and enjoy popular support. The meeting, "Globalization and Problems of Development," was held in the midst of the devaluation of Brazil's currency.

Help for the blind
A Spanish organization has launched a series of initiatives in Latin America to help give blind people more access to education and employment. Among the projects announced recently by the Spanish National Organization of the Blind is the installation of telephone booths in Ecuador to enable blind people to sell their products and a plan in Chile to make special places available for the use of blind vendors. The organization, which has the support of the IDB and other international and national agencies, began working in Latin America last year. Its main source of financing is the Spanish lottery.

Cooperation on drugs
The IDB has pledged increased support to reduce the supply and demand for illicit drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to an agreement signed in January in Vienna, Austria, with the United Nations International Drug Control Program, the Bank will address the drug problem through programs in the fields of education, health care, alternative development, and poverty alleviation. It will also work with the U.N. program in carrying out research and monitoring projects, and will help member countries to enact legislation against money laundering.

A guide to risk
The IDB and the Grupo Santander of Spain have jointly published a Spanish language guide for investors, regulators and legislators interested in more modern and effective risk management systems applicable to the Latin American context.


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