Latin America and the Caribbean
Latin America and the Caribbean were hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The number of infections was higher than average. Around 30% of the global deaths were in this region (as at August 2021). Many countries made efforts to ensure effective health protection measures while trying to avoid irreversible damage to the economy. Despite these efforts, economies in several countries were seriously affected and experienced slow recoveries; poverty and unemployment rates rose, which hit people working in the informal sector particularly hard.
The countries had very different preconditions. The economic strength of the individual nations differs considerably. Brazil and Mexico are emerging economies that have long since become important global actors. Peru and Colombia are up-and-coming states with economic prospects. At the same time, there are also small and less advanced countries such as Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, in which relatively large sections of the population live in poverty; due to the lack of perspective in their own countries, many of these people choose to emigrate to the USA. Income and assets are very unequally distributed in practically all Latin American countries.
However, Latin America and the Caribbean are characterised by their huge wealth of biodiversity. The evergreen rainforest, unique ecosystems with rare species of animals and plants are significant for the whole world in the context of climate action and biodiversity. On behalf of the German Federal Government, KfW Development Bank supports the governments in many countries in efforts to protect and maintain these types of ecologically valuable regions.
Overall, development cooperation with Latin America reflects the changing role of the continent in the world and its diversity. In addition to protecting the environment, climate and the rainforest, there are also projects to promote renewable energies, finance climate-friendly means of transport for the growing cities and provide drinking water supplies. KfW’s projects contribute to increasing incomes and creating employment for people, minimising social disparity and strengthening peace and democracy. KfW Development Bank committed around EUR 1.27 billion to the Latin American / Caribbean region in 2020.