Agriculture in an open market

June 01, 1997
Researchers have devoted considerable attention to analyzing the impact of macroeconomic policy reforms on stabilization in Latin American countries. But until recently, relatively little has been known about the effects of these reforms on the agriculture and the rural sectors. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is now seeking to fill the gap through its research program, "Macroeconomic Policy Reforms and Regional Trade Pacts in Latin America."

A verdict on democracy

June 01, 1997
Latin Americans overwhelmingly prefer democracy over authoritarianism as a form of government. But at the same time, they are largely dissatisfied with the performance of their own democratic governments. These seemingly incompatible perceptions about the benefits of democracy were among the findings of a comprehensive 1996 survey of attitudes on government, politics and the economy in 17 Latin American countries conducted by Latinobarómetro, a private polling organization based in Santiago, Chile. Good for the other guy

Cities under the sea

June 01, 1997
They are powerful and at the same time beautiful, full of high-rise constructions. They have millions of inhabitants and are complex centers of diversity, of cultural clashes as well as collaboration. They are dangerous and seductive, a universal object of fascination. Can anyone deny that most of what can be said about a city can also be said about a coral reef?

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.

The gritty reality of microenterprise

June 01, 1997
The theory and practice of microenterprise came face-to-face in Costa Rica last month at a seminar co-sponsored by the IDB and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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.

Improving public management in Bolivia

June 01, 1997
LOANS Bolivia $7 million from the Fund for Special Operations to improve public investment programming and preinvestment management at the departmental and municipal levels. The project, to be carried out by the Secretaría de Inversión Pública, will help implement the National Public Investment System, which will demand efficiency in the programming of public investments. The project will include Bolivia's nine departments and 11 of the principal municipal governments, including all departmental capitals. Costa Rica