W A S H I N G T O N OFFICE ON LATIN AMERICA
Promoting Human Rights, Democracy, and Social and Economic Justice in Latin America
September 27, 2007
For Immediate Release
Vicki Gass, Senior Associate for Rights and Development, (202) 415-7226
Roger Atwood, Communications Director, (202) 797-2171
WOLA Backs Senate Bill for Social Investment in Latin America
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced today he will introduce the Social Investment and Economic Development Act for the Americas. This legislation would provide $2.5 billion over ten years to reduce poverty and invest in key development areas in Latin America, including in rural and agricultural sectors. Poverty is a largely rural phenomenon in Latin America. This bill would bring critical attention to challenges that limit growth and opportunity for people in the region and that constitute major “push factors” for migration from the countryside to cities within Latin America and to the United States.
WOLA, the research and advocacy organization, supports the Menendez bill. Poverty, inequality and social exclusion are the three biggest problems facing Latin America and the Caribbean.
"Many have lamented the demise of immigration reform," said WOLA Executive Director Joy Olson. "But this bill tries to address the root causes of migration. While we believe much more must be done, this bill appropriately focuses attention squarely on the poor and excluded of Latin America."