Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is the world’s leading net food exporting region as well as a key supplier of environmental public goods such as biodiversity and forests. The region therefore has critical roles to play in both global food security and in environmental sustainability. Fulfilling these roles over the long term will require good policies and strong investment in agricultural research and development, infrastructure, and governance of natural resources. IFPRI’s policy, investment, and institutional analysis can help LAC countries meet these challenges of food and nutrition security, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.  

Today most LAC countries have risen to middle-income status and can serve as illustrations of different experiences with regard to structural reform, macroeconomic and trade policy, social safety nets, urbanization, nutritional transition and obesity, and the like. IFPRI has been facilitating exchanges between LAC countries and those in other developing regions on topics such as poverty-based social safety nets, women’s empowerment, and programs for small farmers.

Despite many strides, LAC still faces a number of development challenges. For example, levels of stunting among native populations are particularly worrisome. Thus IFPRI has been helping several countries in the region to design, monitor, and evaluate policies, investments, and institutional arrangements in support of inclusive development, alleviation of poverty and hunger, reduction of malnutrition, and environmental sustainability.

The LAC Regional Program

To address these goals and challenges, IFPRI has launched the new LAC Program, which will build on the more than three decades of IFPRI work in the region. Since the 1980s, IFPRI-led research in Latin America and the Caribbean has led to evidence-based, innovative macroeconomic and trade policies and effective social-protection and nutrition programs. IFPRI research has enhanced the region’s capacity to design and implement policies and investments for improved food and nutrition security, livelihoods, and resilience, using an array of analytical tools such as:

  • Global- and country-level economywide dynamic models
  • macro- and microeconometric techniques
  • expenditure reviews and investment analysis
  • regional typologies and risk-scoring tools for investment prioritization
  • geographical positioning tools
  • monitoring instruments for public services using new information technologies
  • behavioral economics tools
  • experimental and quasi-experimental methods using randomized controlled trials and household surveys  

IFPRI also hosts the Central America and Caribbean Food Security Portal, an expansive online database of recent policies, research, and food security information about the region. In addition to its research and policy analysis in LAC, IFPRI fosters policy dialogues, engages in capacity building and training, and works with governments, civil society, and the private sector to support efforts aimed at eliminating poverty and malnutrition and achieving environmental sustainability.

Country Profiles

Argentina | Belize | Bolivia | Brazil | Caribbean | Chile | Colombia | Costa Rica | Cuba |Dominican Republic | Ecuador | El Salvador | Guatemala | Guyana | Haiti | Honduras | Jamaica | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Surinam | Uruguay | Venezuela