River blindness in retreat

July 01, 1997
When Merck & Co., the United States pharmaceutical giant, announced 10 years ago that it had found a drug that could prevent onchocerciasis, one of the leading causes of blindness in Latin America and Africa, and that it would donate the medicine "wherever needed for as long as needed," it appeared that the last barrier to conquering this disease had fallen.

Improving education in Panama

July 01, 1997
LOANS Panama: $58.1 million to help improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of education from preschool to 12th grade. The resources will enable the Ministry of Education to modernize curricula, train teachers, develop and acquire learning materials, establish better evaluation and management systems, and improve efficiency. Special emphasis will be placed on making basic education more accessible and relevant to indigenous and rural communities with the participation of parents' associations.

Job placement in Belize

July 01, 1997
LOANS Panama: $58.1 million to help improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of education from preschool to 12th grade. The resources will enable the Ministry of Education to modernize curricula, train teachers, develop and acquire learning materials, establish better evaluation and management systems, and improve efficiency. Special emphasis will be placed on making basic education more accessible and relevant to indigenous and rural communities with the participation of parents' associations.

Management training in Guyana

July 01, 1997
LOANS Panama: $58.1 million to help improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of education from preschool to 12th grade. The resources will enable the Ministry of Education to modernize curricula, train teachers, develop and acquire learning materials, establish better evaluation and management systems, and improve efficiency. Special emphasis will be placed on making basic education more accessible and relevant to indigenous and rural communities with the participation of parents' associations.

Does globalization hurt wage earners?

June 01, 1997
As the world economy has become increasingly tightly knit over the past decade, the wage gap has widened between high-skilled and low-skilled workers. It would seem safe to conclude that the two trends are linked.

IDB approves first partial risk guarantee

June 01, 1997
The Inter-American Development Bank has added another instrument to its growing list of financial facilities to support the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean: partial risk guarantees. A $31.25 million partial risk guarantee was approved in April by the IDB Board of Executive Directors for senior debt noteholders investing in Bogotana de Aguas y Saneamiento S.C.A., E.S.P., a company that will build a wastewater treatment plant serving the metropolitan area of Bogotá, Colombia.

Integration reality check

June 01, 1997
Mercosur has successfully expanded trade and investment among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, but the trade pact faces big challenges in the future, according to a report by the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and Caribbean (INTAL).Trade within Mercosur has grown to $16 billion a year, or one-fifth of the total external trade of all its member countries. However, intra-Mercosur trade has not yet reached its full potential, particularly if compared with Southeast Asia, according to the first report on the trade pact by INTAL, an IDB affiliate based in Buenos Aires.

Wedding bells ring up sales

June 01, 1997
Although Glenda Sandoval Rodríguez is accustomed to receiving compliments for her work, she never imagined that the accolades would one day come from the first lady of the United States.

World-class hospital

June 01, 1997
Southern Chile's legendary earthquake of 1960 killed hundreds of people and damaged countless buildings, including the Regional Hospital of Valdivia, where the three top floors of the eight-story building had to be closed. Today, a state-of-the-art hospital has finally replaced temporary facilities that were built in the aftermath of the earthquake. The new hospital was one of four in northern, central and southern Chile built partly with funds from a $70 million IDB health services loan approved in 1991.

Sugar and rice output booms

June 01, 1997
Seven years ago, the economy of Guyana was in a shambles. Sugar and rice production, which accounted for half of the country's exports and foreign exchange, had dropped by half in just four years. One-fourth of the country's agricultural equipment and machinery was out of commission due to lack of foreign exchange to buy spare parts. It was a vicious circle: the lower the production and exports, the less foreign exchange was available to buy spare parts and machinery, further reducing production.