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CGD in the News

December 28, 2012

For a Great Stocking Stuffer, Give a Kid a Vaccine (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Senior Fellow Charles Kenny's writes his weekly column for Bloomberg Businessweek on childhood vaccination. He cites work by CGD Senior Fellow Amanda Glassman and colleagues on vaccination levels.

The following op-ed was originally published by Bloomberg Businessweek.

If you are looking for the perfect present to give kids this holiday season, what about immunity from a range of deadly communicable diseases? It is cheap and widely available at any good pediatricians’ office or vaccination clinic. Even so, this wonderful present is spurned by a growing number of parents in America and Europe.

A big reason that more children than ever will be around to enjoy the holiday season worldwide this year is because vaccination rates for a range of diseases have shot up over the last few decades. In the case of measles, the World Health Organization suggests 16 percent of infants were vaccinated against the disease in 1980 compared with 85 percent in 2010. The results speak for themselves: In 1980, measles killed 2.6 million people a year; that number was down to 139,000 in 2010. And that’s thanks not least to the efforts of the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunizations, which buys vaccines at bulk and sells them on to developing countries using a sliding price scale that depends on the country’s income. GAVI has helped improve vaccination rates significantly even in some of the world’s most challenging countries. Yemen, for example, started a rotavarius vaccination campaign with GAVI support in 2012.

But for all that Western aid has helped in increasing global coverage, vaccination rates are going the opposite direction in the West itself. Amanda Glassman and colleagues at the Center for Global Development developed a measure of global performance looking at the sustained level of vaccination against diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus (the DPT shot) over the 1980-2010 period. On that ranking, the U.S. came in No. 24 behind countries that include Slovakia, Hungary, and Albania. France ranked No. 31, and the U.K. No. 91—behind Gambia and Eritrea.

Unvaccinated kids are concentrated within those countries, which considerably increases the risk of outbreaks. A lot of rich Californians with kids in private schools have managed to clump together with enough like-minded fellow thinkers to create large reservoirs of unvaccinated kids.

The opt-out rate in private schools in the state doubled from 2004 to 2011. There are now 110 private schools across California where more than half of the kids skipped some or all vaccinations, and 247 private schools saw vaccination rates below 90 percent, the threshold critical to minimizing the potential for disease outbreak.

Declining vaccination rates have had the inevitable result. In 2011, according to health economist Victoria Fan, France had more than 14,000 cases of measles—the highest since 2000 and considerably more than the total number of cases in all of the Americas that year. Latin America eliminated measles in 2002, but because of dropping vaccination coverage in the North, the U.S. is importing measles cases from Europe and threatens to reexport them to South America. The U.S. has also seen outbreaks of meningitis despite the availability of an infant vaccine since 1987. And in the first nine months of 2012, the U.S. suffered more cases of whooping cough than it had in decades, with 25,000 cases and 13 deaths.

Parents who don’t vaccinate risk their own children’s lives—but also those of newborns too young for vaccination, kids of other vaccine-deniers, and older people for whom vaccines have proven ineffective. And they slow efforts to wipe out diseases completely, so that no one has to go to the bother and expense of getting the vaccines that these selfish, misguided, or ignorant parents are already leaving on the shelf. Think smallpox—it killed 300 million-plus people last century, but no one is vaccinated against it today because a global campaign succeeded in wiping it out.

Insanely, in a country that mandates car seats for all kids, parents in 20 states, including California, are allowed to opt out of vaccination programs for “philosophical reasons.” And the situation is the same across much of Europe. Whereas a child out of a car seat who gets involved in a crash is only a danger to herself, an unvaccinated kid is a danger to others. The public policy case for mandating vaccination is far stronger than that for car seats.

Meanwhile, no child whose parents have shown the practical love of turning up at the clinic and no vaccine worker who has braved the struggle to set up that clinic should be thwarted for lack of a few dollars to finance the vaccines. (For an example of that bravery, look no further than the eight polio vaccination workers murdered last week in Pakistan, where the Taliban has opposed the campaign.)

So if you’ve already got your kids vaccinated, why not help a kid in another country get his or her full set? Donate to child vaccination efforts through Unicef or such groups as the Lions and Rotary clubs that have been longtime supporters of global vaccination efforts. Meanwhile, if you haven’t got your own kids vaccinated, here’s hoping an elf repeatedly whacks you with the lump of coal in your stocking until you repent.

Read it here.

December 28, 2012

Rebuilding in Haiti Lags After Billions in Post-Quake Aid (The New York Times)

A paper by Senior Fellow Vijaya Ramachandran is referenced in a New York Times article on post-quake aid in Haiti.

From the article: pragmatism signals an acknowledgment that despite billions of dollars spent — and billions more allocated for Haiti but unspent — rebuilding has barely begun and 357,785 Haitians still languish in 496 tent camps.

An analysis of all that money — at least $7.5 billion disbursed so far — helps explain why such a seeming bounty is not more palpable here in the eviscerated capital city, where the world’s chief accomplishment is to have finally cleared away most of the rubble.

More than half of the money has gone to relief aid, which saves lives and alleviates misery but carries high costs and leaves no permanent footprint — tents shred; emergency food and water gets consumed; short-term jobs expire; transitional shelters, clinics and schools are not built to last.

Of the rest, only a portion went to earthquake reconstruction strictly defined. Instead, much of the so-called recovery aid was devoted to costly current programs, like highway building and H.I.V. prevention, and to new projects far outside the disaster zone, like an industrial park in the north and a teaching hospital in the central plateau.

In retrospect, the numbers tell the story: Donors provided $2.2 billion of humanitarian aid in response to the earthquake. The United States Department of Defense got nearly a fifth of that aid to carry out its relief operation, which involved 22,000 troops. The Haitian government got less than 1 percent.

More of the recovery aid — 15 percent — has been channeled through the Haitian government, and the United States ambassador to Haiti, Pamela A. White, says that a shift in approach has led international donors to align “our investments with Haiti’s priorities in a truly country-led manner.”

But thus far almost all contracts have been awarded to foreign agencies, nonprofit groups and private contractors who, in turn, subcontract to others, with each layer in the process adding 7 to 10 percent in administrative costs, as noted in a paper published by the Center for Global Development.

Read it here.

December 21, 2012

Healthcare in India: A Call for Innovative Reform - An Interview with Victoria Fan (NBR)

Senior Fellow Victoria Fan is interviewed for an article in The National Bureau of Asian Research on healthcare in India.

The following article originally appeared in The National Bureau of Asian Research.

As India seeks to become a global power, there is perhaps nothing more important than the health and well-being of its citizens. This is ensured in part through an effective, comprehensive health system. However, assessments about India’s healthcare—stretching from access, spending, and capacity—are often bleak. Yet there has been renewed attention within India to health reform, and universal health coverage in particular. New Dehli has pledged to increase public spending from 1.0% to 2.5% of GDP, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a specific emphasis on health in the country’s twelfth five-year plan covering 2012-2017.

For insight into the reforms needed to improve India's healthcare, NBR spoke with Victoria Fan, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development who wrote her Harvard School of Public Health dissertation on health systems in India. Dr. Fan provides an assessment of India's health system, the potential for universal health coverage, and the impact of the changing nature of disease in India on public health functions, among other key issues.

What is the state of healthcare in India?

Today, most Indians seek healthcare in private facilities. Owing to many years of neglect, lower-level public healthcare facilities often suffer from a variety of problems, including worker absenteeism and dual public-private practice, low demand for their use, and shortages of supplies and staff. In contrast, private healthcare varies greatly in quality of care, being unregulated and financed largely through out-of-pocket payments. In the private sector, there are a large number of health workers who have only a high-school education or do not have a medical degree.

There are at least two major healthcare programs in India. The first is the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which is the central government’s attempt to improve delivery of services in public facilities as well as public-health and preventive interventions, led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The second is the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), which is a health insurance program led by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. In most states RSBY covers people “below the poverty line” for a selected set of tertiary care services. While NRHM, launched in 2006, has had some success in improving access to certain services, such as maternal healthcare (under the Janani Suraksha Yojana program), it is not clear what effects NRHM has had on most other services. In contrast, there is early evidence that RSBY has been somewhat effective in reducing out-of-pocket payments for tertiary care, although it is not clear whether this program improves population health.

The Indian government has pledged to provide “universal health coverage” for its citizens. Can you explain what this means in the Indian context?

Universal health coverage (UHC) means different things to different people. If we accept the World Health Organization’s definition of UHC—a definition not without controversy—then UHC means that everybody receives access to needed healthcare and that people do not suffer major financial risk when seeking services. This definition of “universal” usually refers to the population accessing healthcare, and sometimes it also refers to the “comprehensiveness” of services provided. However, the scope of healthcare services varies among countries.

It is not clear what the Indian government is proposing for the package of healthcare services. China, for example, has defined “universal health coverage” as “universal coverage to essential healthcare services.” India will need to be more proactive and explicit in defining what package of benefits its citizens are entitled to, perhaps by creating appropriate priority-setting institutions.

India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh and other high-level officials have pledged to encourage public support for health by increasing GDP spending from roughly 1.0% to 2.5% between 2012 and 2017. What might this increase in public investment accomplish?

India has one of the world’s lowest levels of health spending as a proportion of GDP, and there is little disagreement that the pledged increase in spending is important for improving the country’s healthcare. There is cross-country evidence that shows that increased government spending on health in turn is associated with lower out-of-pocket health spending. However, it is not yet clear how this new money will be invested—whether it will continue to fund NRHM or whether it will use RSBY as a platform to expand services, or some combination thereof. Money alone will obviously not resolve the challenges that any healthcare system faces. How that money is invested is critical, and I have not yet seen the Indian government’s detailed policy proposals to invest such money. The so-called high-level expert group report offered some suggestions, but I think many of the final details still need to be worked out.

Indians reportedly pay about 70% of health costs out-of-pocket, and of this, the majority of expenditures are on drugs. What measures is the Indian government taking to reduce this financial burden?

I think the figures that you have may be slightly out of date. It is true that a large proportion of healthcare spending is paid out-of-pocket, but I believe in recent years this percentage has decreased slightly. I don’t think it is as high as 70% today. Moreover, there is some disagreement about whether drugs account for a majority of health spending or simply a large fraction, depending on which survey one uses. Nevertheless, we can agree that drugs account for a large (though not necessarily a majority) share of health spending. I understand that the government has recently announced a program to provide free drugs for all. The program seems to be modeled on the success of one state, Tamil Nadu, which has a central drug-procurement system; other states will attempt to follow Tamil Nadu. However, it is very much unknown whether this program will work as intended, whether people will benefit as expected, and how much leakage and corruption there will be. Tamil Nadu is a southern state, and its performance in health is among the best. But Tamil Nadu’s success is not limited to this sector. More generally, it seems to have slightly higher government capability and capacity to deliver services to its population. So it is unclear how other states will be able to fully replicate the successes seen in Tamil Nadu. Moreover, if India’s public distribution system for selected grains and food is any indication of the central government’s capabilities in procurement and supply-chain management, I am not very optimistic about the program to provide free drugs for all. We also know that free drugs without appropriate prescribing can lead to overuse and increase the chances for drug resistance. If healthcare delivery is problematic, merely making drugs free will not solve India’s problems.

What can India learn from other countries that have undergone significant healthcare reforms?

There is much that India can learn from other countries. One country that India has yet to learn from, in my view, is one of its neighbors, Bangladesh. Despite being a very poor country, Bangladesh has achieved great health outcomes by focusing on selected core child-health interventions, including vaccinations, family planning, oral rehydration therapy, and other maternal and child health services. For example, India needs to improve its vaccination coverage for children, which is one of the most cost-effective health interventions. As many as a third or more of the country’s children still do not receive the full set of immunizations. India has very low coverage with regard to other key health interventions, including oral rehydration therapy and appropriate antibiotic treatment for childhood pneumonia. Bangladesh’s success at mobilizing community efforts and health workers to improve child health offers important lessons for India to address its burden of disease among women and children.

One common lesson from a variety of international experiences is that healthcare reform is a long, ongoing process that requires significant experimentation and innovation to determine what works in one’s own country. Healthcare systems are very complex. Not surprisingly, then, countries have achieved universal health coverage through a variety of pathways, and there are many policy variables that can be adjusted and tweaked. India will thus need to experiment with different tools for reforming its healthcare system, including how the central government pays state governments and the incentives on those payments, as well as how state governments can improve the delivery of healthcare services through changing payment systems, improving regulation and accreditation of facilities, increasing autonomy in public facilities, and using demand-side incentives such as cash transfers or insurance to stimulate the supply of services. This is just a short list of the various tools that can be deployed. Both NRHM and RSBY each have many moving parts and components. State governments will need to take the lead with support from the central government to find out what works for them. 1. While much of India’s population suffers from illness and disease associated with high rates of poverty, such as fatal diarrhea, TB, and malnutrition, the country has an increasing rate of noncommunicable disease associated with a growing middle class. How is the Indian health system set up to deal with this dual challenge?

India today faces this dual burden of infectious disease and chronic disease. While both public and private facilities can support the treatment of these diseases, their prevention is a priority for the government. NRHM has several components focusing mainly on infectious diseases, but with much less emphasis, if any, on the prevention of chronic diseases. RSBY is one initiative to support the treatment of certain chronic diseases, but not their prevention.

In my view, the prevention and public-health functions have been somewhat neglected by the government and somewhat crowded out by a focus on and financing for clinical and facility-based care. Education on improved hygiene, hand-washing, and sanitation, for example, is a severely neglected area in the country. Vaccinations are also a key neglected area, as I mentioned earlier. History has shown that the burden of infectious disease will not go down by treatment alone; prevention through government actions is critical. The same could also be said of chronic disease. Yet we know that current government policies, both nationally and at the state level, have varied greatly in their success in controlling infectious diseases. Again, states need to experiment and figure out what works best for them.

What else is important to understand?

There has been much criticism of healthcare services in the public sector in India, not without good reason. Some researchers, such as Banerjee and Duflo, have gone so far as to call tweaks to public facility delivery like “putting a band-aid on a corpse.” There is some truth to that, and I think it is fair to say that there has been little or limited attention to improving the public provision of healthcare services. That said, since most people demand healthcare in the private sector, improving the quality of private care is crucial. Debates on public vs. private healthcare delivery in India are often very vitriolic, and I think policymakers need to take a pragmatic, rather than ideological, position on the two sectors. India will never have a ubiquitous national health service like the United Kingdom, which is what its public facilities were modeled on decades ago. For India to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare services in both the public and private sectors, the country will need to intervene in each sector appropriately.

Read it here.

December 20, 2012

Pinpoint Climate Studies Flag Trouble for Mexico, CenAm Farmers (Reuters)

A study by Senior Fellow Emeritus William Cline is cited in a Reuters article on climate change threats to Mexico.

From the article:

A growing body of scientific evidence ranks Mexico and its southern neighbors near the top of the list of countries most vulnerable to global warming, and advances in micro-forecasting foresee a grim future in alarming detail.

Mexico stands to lose between a quarter and a third of its agricultural production by 2080, according to a study by William Cline of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Global Development. That is more than any country besides India.

Central America will see agricultural output shrink between 12 and 24 percent, according to Cline, a loss cushioned by the region's average rainfall of some 6 millimeters per day, compared with Mexico's 2 millimeters per day.

"The fundamental problem is that water needs will go up as the heat rises, but unfortunately these countries will be getting less water," said Cline.

Read it here.

December 19, 2012

US Global Health Restructuring Leaves Interagency Coordination Problems Intact (World Politics Review)

Senior Fellow Amanda Glassman is quoted in an article on the new US Office of Global Health Diplomacy.

From the article:

The State Department announced on Friday that the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, Ambassador Eric Goosby, will lead the new Office of Global Health Diplomacy while continuing to head the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The appointment follows up on a plan announced earlier this year, when the administration shut down its Global Health Initiative (GHI), a program launched only in 2009.

"This is not a reshuffling of the deck chairs, but instead the addition of a deck chair," said Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. "And it does not really solve some of the problems that are at the heart of why interagency coordination did not work so well the first time."

She wrote in a blog post on the topic that "infighting between agencies and a general lack of mandate and leadership" ultimately led to the demise of the GHI, and the establishment of the new office "puts an end to the endless debates about GHI leadership which had become unproductive and distracting."

But Glassman questioned whether diplomats should have control over the programmatic aspects of health systems.

Read it here.

December 19, 2012

Obama's Next Act: Immigration Reform (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Senior Fellow Michael Clemens is quoted in a piece on immigration reform.

From the article:

Washington won’t get much of a reprieve from verbal pyrotechnics once the drama over the fiscal cliff is over. Up next: Major immigration reform. President Obama has made it clear that a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s badly frayed immigration system is a second-term priority. Many Republican lawmakers are convinced the big take away from the 2012 election results is that conservatives need to rethink their hard-line stance on immigration—including illegal immigrants.

Now, let’s state the obvious. A rapid transformation of illegal immigrants into legal immigrants isn’t in the cards. Amnesty–let alone citizenship–is an anathema to large parts of the electorate. Too bad, since the scholarly evidence is compelling that immigrants–documented or not, legal or illegal—are a net boon to the economy. “Competition fosters economic growth,” says Michael Clemens, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington D.C.

Read it here.

December 18, 2012

Avoid Over-reliance on Natural Resources: Expert (Zimbabwe Independent)

Senior Fellow Alan Gelb is quoted in an article by the Zimbabwe Independent on what's really needed for growth in Zimbabwe.

From the article:

Alan Gelb, a fellow of the Centre for Global Development (CGD), said the drive can however not be achieved without political and institutional consensus, which has proved to be a major challenge in other economies.

Resource-based economies, he argued, faced a lot of uncertainty as market fluctuations expose producers to huge revenue and trade shocks.

“Who would have thought crude oil prices could fall to US$34 per barrel from as high as US$100,” said Gelb in his keynote presentation at a World Bank and Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit High-Level Technical Dialogue on Zimbabwe Growth Recovery forum this week.

“If you want to be rich you need more than just natural resources or natural capital. You must move to produced and intangible capital. When countries are poor, they have mostly natural capital and they move to produced and intangible capital as they get richer.”

Read it here.

December 18, 2012

Moving the Jobless to the Jobs - Crucial for Economic Growth (Bloomberg Businessweek)

In his weekly column for Bloomberg Businessweek, Senior Fellow Charles Kenny writes on US internal migration.

The following op-ed originally appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Immigration is suddenly a hot topic in Washington. From an issue with about as much traction as an ice cube on a skating rink, the election (and Republican’s drubbing at the hands of Latinos) has created a consensus around the need for reform. That’s great. There are very few things Washington could do to help the U.S. economic recovery and long-term growth than welcoming more entrepreneurs, creators, and workers from overseas. But while the movement of people to America is on the agenda in D.C., politicians might want to think about the benefits of people moving inside America, too.

Around the world, movement from poor rural areas to rich cities within countries has been a vital part of wealth creation. China alone has 140 million internal migrants, for example—most moved from the middle of the country to more prosperous coastal areas such as Shanghai, where they can earn more while their children can get a better education and quality health care. Just as international migrants send back $406 billion to their home countries each year, internal migrants support the families and communities they leave behind. And the wealth they create alongside the taxes they pay allow central governments to provide services and support to lagging regions.

Internal migration has been a powerful force for improving quality of life in the U.S., as well. People moving to Texas and California are going where the jobs are. And when poor people in the U.S. move to rich areas, that’s also a force for more equal national growth. Alongside the movement of goods and finance, the opportunities presented by movements of people are why poorer areas of the U.S. have traditionally grown faster than richer ones. Harvard economist Robert Barro and Columbia’s Xavier Sala-i-Martin estimated the rate of “income convergence” between states—how fast the gap is shrinking between poor and rich states—was about 2 percent per year between 1880 and 1998.

But more recent analysis by Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag of Harvard finds that the rate of convergence across U.S. states has slowed dramatically over the past 30 years—poor states are growing faster than rich states, still, but the relative pace is much closer than it used to be. From 1940 to 1980, the gap between incomes in poor and rich states narrowed by 2.1 percent a year. But after 1980, the rate of narrowing slipped to less than 1 percent.

One big reason for this, they suggest, is a similar slowing of migration from poor to rich states. Before 1980, each doubling of income across states was associated with a population growth rate of 1.46 percent higher. Poor people from relatively poor states moved to the richer states in search of a better life—so rich states saw rapidly rising populations. But in recent years, the relationship essentially disappeared. Poor states and rich states are seeing the same rate of population growth. The decline in migration can account for all the slowdown in income convergence over the past few decades, they conclude.

Ganong and Shoag note that the slowdown in migration has been particularly severe for low-income workers. They suggest that rapidly rising house prices in wealthy areas help account for that. As house prices rise, the benefits of living in productive areas erodes for low-skilled households. And the researchers note that the impact of housing regulation measured through land-use court cases is a big factor behind rising house prices. More regulation leads to higher house prices at a given income level—pricing poor people out of the housing market. Rich areas haven’t needed a passport system to keep poor people out of their communities; they’ve just regulated land use so much that there’s no cheap housing available.

Of course, that’s not necessarily easy for Washington to fix. Most of the regulations involved are made at the state and local level. But one thing Congress could do to help reduce the cost of housing and help deal with the fiscal cliff: Dump the home mortgage interest tax deduction.

The $100 billion the U.S. government provides each year in home mortgage interest tax relief makes housing more expensive. Three-quarters of the tax relief on home mortgage interest goes to the top 20 percent of earners, according to the Tax Policy Center—and hardly any people at the other end of the income distribution benefit from the credit. The credit encourages richer Americans to borrow more, bid up prices, and buy bigger houses on bigger plots. All that squeezes out the affordable rental housing that poor migrants need if they are going to get to where the jobs are.

Republican and Democrats agree that we should focus on equality of opportunity. But one of the best opportunities we can give people is to move from areas of little economic potential to areas with jobs and quality education. Getting rid of the home mortgage interest tax deduction is one way both to raise revenue and to help poor people help themselves. Of course, it’s also an idea with no political traction at the moment—but we’ve seen such things change before.

Read it here.

December 18, 2012

Mining Won't Pull Zim Out of Poverty (NewsDay)

Senior Fellow Alan Gelb is quoted in a piece from NewsDay on Zimbabwe's mining industry.

From the article:

A FORMER World Bank official has advised the government to diversify the economy on the back of firm commodity prices, saying the mining sector alone would not pull the country out of poverty.

Addressing delegates at the High Level Technical Dialogue on Zimbabwe Growth Recovery in Harare on Wednesday, Alan Gelb, the former director of development policy at the World Bank and chief economist for the bank’s Africa region, urged the government to put in place measures which will increase output of the capital-intensive industry as a way of encouraging forward linkages with other sectors.

He cited the case of copper-producing Chile as an economy that had managed to effectively leverage on mineral resources.

The Centre for Global Development fellow said Zimbabwe could spur growth for tourism and agriculture anchored on a buoyant extractive industry.

“Minerals alone will not make Zimbabwe rich,” Gelb said.

“There is need to leverage mineral resources to diversify and take advantage of the mineral cycle.

“Zimbabwe is not the only fish in the sea as far as mining is concerned. The real challenge is to develop the political consensus and institutions to manage resources well.”

Read it here.

December 13, 2012

Aconsejan al Pais no Dejar el FMI en Caso de Recibir Una Sancion (La Nacion)

Senior Fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez is quoted in La Nacion on international capital flows. (Spanish)

From the article:

WASHINGTON - Un panel de expertos llamó la atención sobre la necesidad de "remover el estigma" que existe en la Argentina de que los requerimientos que le competen en cuanto miembro del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) "son una imposición" de políticas por parte del organismo.

De igual modo, subrayó la inconveniencia de que la Argentina opte por "apartarse" del FMI si, como podría ocurrir, resulta sancionada por el organismo por "falta de transparencia" en la recolección y elaboración de sus estadísticas de inflación y de evolución de la economía (PBI).

Las definiciones fueron parte de un coloquio del llamado Comité Latinoamericano de Asuntos Financieros (Claaf), con sede en esta ciudad y que reúne a ex responsables de Economía y de Finanzas de países de la región para debatir cuestiones del bloque.

El panel coincidió en que "no es buena idea" la eventual hipótesis de que la Argentina piense en retirarse del FMI si esa sanción se produce. "Pertenecemos allí, somos socios y debemos estar allí", dijo Fernández. "Pensar en irse del FMI no es buen plan", coincidió la peruana Liliana Rojas Suárez, titular del Claaf y experta en flujo internacional de capitales. En igual sentido se pronunció Calvo, para quien la clave es procurar la normalidad en la relación y en la política. "Tener al FMI siguiéndole la pisada a uno no es bueno para ninguna de las partes, ni para el país ni para el Fondo", ironizó. En ese punto, Fernández subrayó el papel de mediador que podría ejercer el organismo regional cuya creación proponen como una "mesa de diálogo" en la que sentarse a discutir y solucionar problemas de liquidez "no despierte sospechas ni resquemores".

Otra de las preguntas apuntó a determinar si la Argentina podría "calificar" para integrarlo. "Es una propuesta que abarca a todos los países de la región", dijo Guidotti, si bien reconoció que será necesario tener "criterios adecuados" de calificación.

Read it here.