International Monetary Fund managing director Rodrigo Rato will travel to Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia, where he will address a regional central bank conference, according to a report by AFP. Rato is to visit Thailand for two days, beginning July 28, and will give a keynote address at the South East Asian Central Banks Governors Conference in Bangkok, the Washington-based financial institution said in a statement. The IMF chief will then spend two days in the Philippines, beginning July 30, and two days in Cambodia, from August 1. In each country Rato will meet with top political leaders and senior officials, as well as representatives of civil society, the private sector, and academics.
A new World Bank study, as per a report by Reuters, shows that global warming is drying up mountain lakes and wetlands in the Andes and threatening water supplies to major South American cities such as La Paz, Bogota and Quito. The risk is especially great to an Andean wetland habitat called the paramo, which supplies 80 percent of the water to Bogota’s 7 million people. Rising temperatures are causing clouds that blanket the Andes to condense at higher altitudes. Eventually this so-called dew point will miss the mountains altogether, said World Bank climate change specialist in Latin America Walter Vergara. “We’re already seeing a drying up of these mountain lakes and wetlands. We’re seeing that the dew point is going up the mountain,” he said of the World Bank-funded research at Colombia’s Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies. “(Clouds) are being driven up the mountain by climate change, and at some point will leave the mountain altogether.”
The Asian Development Bank disbursed half of the $400 million loan it allotted to help Pakistan rebuild homes destroyed by the October 2005 earthquake. The loan is part of the $1 billion fund for earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction in Pakistan. “The winter of 2007 will be the last for most displaced people before they move into new houses,” said Peter Fedon, Country Director of ADB?s Pakistan Resident Mission, in a press release. “For the 30,000 people who have been living in tents for almost two years, and the 3.5 million living in temporary or semi-permanent shelters while permanent houses are being built, the past two winters have been extremely difficult. Housing reconstruction is the most urgent of the overall needs in terms of minimizing the prolonged suffering of affected people.”