The situation of rural communities in Latin America and the Caribbean is in some cases quite dire, and this report from the World Bank offers some timely commentary on the economic opportunities in these areas of the world. Released in February 2005, this 352-page report prepared by a team of researchers led by Guillermo Perry evaluates the effect of the rural sector on national growth, poverty reduction, and environmental degradation. The casual visitor may want to peruse some highlights from the report, browse through a presentation, or listen to an audio interview with co-author Daniel Lederman. In the report, Lederman remarks that "The rural contribution to development in the region has been hampered by insufficient investment in public services". The report offers a number of policy recommendations, including the suggestion that "success in reducing poverty in marginalized regions will depend on the ability of both central and local governments to work with local communities to identify economic opportunities and constraints and to balance local needs with national interests."


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