Summers Urges IDB to Boost Education
U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers called on the Inter-American Development Bank to reduce its financing of infrastructure projects in Latin America and take on more education projects. Inadequate education increasingly puts the region at a disadvantage with developed countries, Summers said at the IDB annual meeting in New Orleans. With the Latin American economy on the rebound, the IDB’s previous role of financing energy, transportation and other infrastructure projects should now be left to private lenders, he said. Summers, who was elected chairman of the IDB board of governors, said that half of Caribbean and Latin youth of secondary-school age were not enrolled in school. Higher education drives better wages and promotes health, he said. The IDB lends about $9 billion a year for a variety of public and private development projects, with roughly 44% of the loans going to social projects such as education and health services. Infrastructure loans make up less than 20% of IDB loans.