From 1999 to 2019, poverty rates in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) dropped from 53% to 28%, mainly driven by increases in labor income. However, this encouraging trend was reversed during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the rate increased from 28% to 30% of the regional population. LAC appears unlikely to end extreme poverty by 2030, a goal set by the World Bank as part of the organization’s mandate. The Georgetown Americas Institute is pleased to welcome Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva, global director of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank, for a conversation on the policy tools available for LAC countries to tackle persistent inequality. Alejandro Werner, founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute, will moderate the conversation and discuss how countries can reduce poverty while navigating increasing inflation and a complex global economic environment.
Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva is the global director for the World Bank Group’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice (GP) in the Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions (EFI) Vice Presidency. Lopez-Calva has over 30 years of professional experience working with international institutions and advising national governments. He rejoined the World Bank in 2022 from the United Nations Development Programme, where he served as UN assistant secretary general and regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean since 2018.
Alejandro Werner is the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that appointment, he was undersecretary of finance and public credit in Mexico’s Finance Ministry and held several positions in that ministry and the Central Bank. He also taught at leading universities in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).