IDB fuels impact investing in Latin America

February 13, 2012
More than $110 million of impact investing resources were mobilized by the IDB over the past 18 months to finance profitable projects that bring about social change Despite stellar economic performance in recent years, Latin America and the Caribbean still have a long way to go to address pressing development needs, such as reducing poverty, improving educational outcomes and enhancing access to reliable health services.

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

March 17, 2009
Since the mid-1990s the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the leading source of multilateral financing for Colombia. Over the last 50 years, the IDB has approved more than US$14.8 billion in loans and non-refundable technical cooperation projects for Colombia. Throughout its history, the IDB has supported the Colombian government and private sector in key development areas such as infrastructure, state modernization and reform, small and medium enterprise, agriculture, energy, climate change and environmental protection.

Venture capital for low-income markets

February 26, 2009
Investing in housing, healthcare, education, basic utilities and nutrition can not only fulfill a social mission, but it can also be a profitable business venture. This is the concept of IGNIA Fund, which will channel venture capital resources to fund commercially viable growth companies serving the “base of the pyramid,” those persons in Latin America and the Caribbean earning less than $3,260 a year. The IGNIA Fund selects projects with the potential to be expanded on a larger scale, thereby increasing the social and economic impact.

Self-help for the poor through microcredit

February 26, 2009
Microenterprise and small business companies account for 59 percent of El Salvador’s work force and 49 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the vast majority of these firms, particularly those with small incomes and in rural areas, do not have access to credit. Experience has demonstrated that properly managed microcredit programs can achieve an adequate return on capital while fulfilling a social need, enabling low-income producers to survive and expand.

Microfinance Ranking Championship League 2008

October 08, 2008
By Matthew Gerhrke, Renso Martinez and Maria Cecilia Rondon, Microfinance Information Exchange, INC. (MIX)Microfinance in Latin America and the Caribbean skyrocketed in 2007, fueled by booming demand for financial services from microentrepreneurs in the region’s fastgrowing economies along with new funding in both debt and deposit. The region and its microfinance institutions (MFIs) remained in the forefront of attractive investment opportunities.

Reaching the Majority: Promising Steps, Future Actions

March 06, 2006
Social programs have at worst downplayed the interactions between program requirements and rates of underdocumentation, or at best fashioned awkward solutions to get around these problems (such as inventing a new identification code for each family in each project). However, there are some promising trends in the region as private, public and international entities take steps to reach those who have been invisible to the system.

A smoother road

March 01, 2006
By Paul Constance

How to defuse an explosive reform

March 01, 2006
By Paul Constance   Is it possible to replace an 8,000-person bureaucracy with an autonomous agency run by 47 civil servants? Is it ethical to do so?   In El Salvador’s case, the answer to both questions is yes. In 1999, when El Salvador’s government announced plans to create FOVIAL (see link to main article at right, “A smoother road”), it also disclosed that the Ministry of Public Works department in charge of road maintenance would be shut down.

Archaeological excavations in Copán confirm Maya legends

November 08, 2004
Among the Maya ruins of Copán in western Honduras is a carved stone alter depicting the 16 rulers of the Maya kingdom of Copán. Mythical founder Yax Kuk Mo is shown passing a scepter-like symbol of power to the last ruler, Yax Pasah, who commissioned the altar in the 6 th century, some 200 years after the dynasty founder was said to have arrived in Copán from another city in Mesoamerica.