A capital challenge in Haiti

November 03, 2011
Until February 2011, Jean-Claude Seropian, a French hydraulic engineer, worked in Paris as director of operations of Suez Environnement, one of the world’s leading water and waste management companies. That month he moved to Haiti as head of a team of five technical, financial and management experts from Suez and two sister companies, Aguas de Barcelona and United Water. Their mission: to work with the staff of Port-au-Prince’s ailing water utility to arrest the decline of its services.

A water turnaround in Haiti

November 03, 2011
Before the project started in 2008, Saint Marc had running water for nine hours a week, at best. At present service is up to 10 hours a day—the highest average in any urban area in Haiti.

A small price to pay

November 03, 2011
GOMIER, Haiti – Danette François used to walk 30 minutes to fetch water from a well in this seaside village. The water was free but brackish and untreated. Her children often fell ill. She now spends a few minutes each day to fill a 5-gallon bucket of chlorinated water, paying a community-established fee of one gourde— the equivalent of two cents. “The price? It’s really cheap, like a gift,” said François, who has five children between the ages of 10 and 4. “I’m happy. My kids are not getting sick.”

Innovation is the key to sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean

November 08, 2010
The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are making comparatively low investments in research and development, and the region’s private sector is also comparatively under-represented in R&D spending, according to a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank. Through a comparative analysis of R&D investments in developed countries, the study, entitled “The need to innovate,” concludes that companies in Latin America and the Caribbean have favored technology procurement strategies instead of promote endogenous generation of technology and new ideas.

Ministers call for more financial and institutional support for culture industries in Latin America and the Caribbean

October 19, 2010
Cultural industries are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global economy, expanding at a projected rate of 8-10 percent over the coming decade. What does that mean for Latin America and the Caribbean?   The region has rich cultural heritage and dynamic cultural industries which continue to grow. But are countries doing enough to exploit the social and economic potential of the creative sector for development?

IDB study looks at export agency effectiveness

October 14, 2010
Latin American and Caribbean export agencies have succeeded in supporting the diversification and expansion of exports but could be more effective, a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank shows.

Natural disaster risks remain high in Latin American and the Caribbean, IDB says

September 30, 2010
Latin America and the Caribbean face potentially crippling economic and social costs from natural disasters and needs to do more to reduce risks and prepare government finances to respond to eventual catastrophes, according to a new set of indicators by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Young Agents of Change

August 12, 2010
When Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete, a Chilean, was in his twenties, he decided to protect the blue whale, this magnificent and endangered marine mammal. With the support of other young people, the marine biologist began a struggle that continues today to ensure that the Chilean government declared the coastal waters south of the country a protected area. "Things are changing", says a satisfied Hucke-Gaete.

IDB study suggests large natural disasters unlikely to affect long-term growth

June 18, 2010
Large natural disasters are unlikely to affect long-term economic growth unless they are followed by a radical disruption in the institutional organization of society, a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) suggests. The study, which analyses the impact of large natural disasters, sheds new light on whether these occurrences hurt long run economic growth. Current economic theories do not offer a clear answer.

High taxes and evasion eroding economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

March 04, 2010
Complex tax systems and widespread evasion are distorting investment decisions by companies in Latin America and the Caribbean, reducing the efficiency of markets and preventing governments from investing in infrastructure, education and other key public goods. This hinders the productive possibilities of the region’s economies, according to a newly released study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).