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Thursday, April 03, 2008  
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Press Release
April 02, 2008


Christina MacCulloch

(202) 623-1718 April 4 at 12 noon at Miami Beach Convention Center, Room D-128

MIAMI – At its Annual Meeting in Miami, the Inter-American Development Bank will launch the Yo Amo America (I Love America) Campaign, an advocacy and social marketing initiative featuring artists as agents of change in strategic areas of development.
Renowned international artists Ricky Martin, Juanes and Juan Luis Guerra will participate in the event, which will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Room D-128, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. on April 4.
Each celebrity will become the spokesperson for one strategic area in the fight against poverty, including birth registration, early childhood development and access to financial services, housing and safe drinking water.
The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness among policymakers about the importance of developing policies and making investments in these priority areas, as well as to promote specific services and provide information among low-income groups. Around 360 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean—70 percent of the population—live on incomes of less than $300 a month, without access to the benefits of progress.
Ricky Martin, President of the Ricky Martin Foundation, will promote universal birth registration as a means of guaranteeing access to education, health and other public services. Approximately 8.5 million children in the region lack identity papers. Promoting birth registry is one of various strategies to deter child trafficking, a core goal of Mr. Martin’s commitment to this most vulnerable population.
Juanes, as President of Fundación Mi Sangre, will address the need for universal preschool education in the region as a key pillar of early childhood development. Only 10 countries in the region have mandatory preschool education.
Juan Luis Guerra, President of the Juan Luis Guerra Foundation, will advocate for greater access to financial services for the poor, as a means of developing a credit history and fostering microenterprise. In Latin America and the Caribbean, only 8 percent of the demand for credit is currently being met. 
The artists will be featured in a rights-free media campaign and will visit several countries on an advocacy tour, where they will meet with government officials and visit specific projects.
The IDB is the oldest and largest regional development bank and the main source of multilateral financing for the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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