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Yo Amo América media campaign aimed at reducing poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean

Renowned international artist Juan Luis Guerra and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno presented public service announcements (PSAs) for the Yo Amo América initiative that will be broadcasted in several countries across the region during the coming months.


Yo Amo América is an advocacy and social marketing initiative led by artists as agents of social change in strategic areas, aimed at reducing poverty and spurring development in Latin America and the Caribbean. As spokespersons, Ricky Martin, Juanes and Juan Luis Guerra, will work to raise awareness as to the need to establish policies and make investments in birth registration, early childhood development and access to financial services, respectively.


President Moreno explained that the three strategic issues selected for the Yo Amo América campaign are essential to achieve inclusion and to break the cycle of poverty in the region. Additionally, these are areas in which the Bank has been very active and has significant expertise. 

"The influence and media attraction that these celebrities have in the region, plus the knowledge, experience and resources of the IDB, are a powerful combination that will help make a difference in the lives of low-income people," said Moreno.

About 184 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean—34 percent of the population—live in poverty.


“These are millions of people who live marginalized from society, who have no access to basic services such as a bank account,” said Juan Luis Guerra during today’s event. “We can’t afford to remain inactive any longer in the face of such inequality.”


As an advocate of children's rights, Ricky Martin will promote universal birth registration as a means of guaranteeing access to education, health and other public services. Approximately 8.5 million children in the region lack identity papers. Promoting birth registry is one of various strategies to deter child trafficking, one of the key commitments the Ricky Martin Foundation has with this vulnerable population.  


Juanes, as President of Fundación Mi Sangre, will address the need for universal preschool education in the region as a key pillar of early childhood development. Only 10 countries in the region have mandatory preschool education.


Juan Luis Guerra, President of the Juan Luis Guerra Foundation, will advocate for greater access to financial services for the poor as a means of developing a credit history and fostering microenterprise. In Latin America and the Caribbean only 8 percent of the demand for credit is currently being met.


During today’s event, Moreno and Juan Luis Guerra also sustained a dialogue with two micro-entrepreneurs who explained how access to credit had made their businesses viable and changed their lives.


Of the estimated 70 million microentrepreneurs in the region, only 10 percent have access to financial services.


Moreno invited participants to attend the XII ForoMic organized by the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) where microentrepreneurs and experts in microfinance will gather to discuss issues relevant to the field. This year’s event will be held in Arequipa, Peru, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.



Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL, in Spanish)


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