DFC: US International Development Finance Corporation

Helping women in Brazil access affordable healthcare


Brazil has one of the highest rates of preventable death of any OECD country, partly due to high rates of breast and cervical cancer. Each year, millions of women in Brazil miss or delay routine health screenings due to an overburdened public healthcare system and an underdeveloped private healthcare market.

Solution and Impact

A DFC loan is helping GIP Medicina Diagnóstica S.A. expand its chain of women’s health diagnostic centers that provide diagnostic testing, imaging, blood work, and pathology testing services. The company, which is known as Femme in the local market, currently operates 14 centers in São Paulo and will use the DFC financing to expand, adding more than 27 centers over the next six years, serving low and middle-income women. With the additional diagnostic centers, the company projects its annual patient consultations will increase from approximately 300,000 currently to more than 4.5 million. Femme plans to place new locations in underserved areas to help increase access for low-income households.

The project is projected to increase more than 1,000 permanent professional and technical jobs as well as support staff in the next five years. Eighty percent of the new jobs are expected to be filled by women.

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Can Nuclear Energy Come Back from the Grave

Project Syndicate

From China to the United Kingdom, policymakers regard nuclear power as part of the solution to the twin challenges of energy security and climate change. But it remains to be seen whether the industry will finally establish itself as a major global electricity supplier, or again fail to live up to its promise.

LONDON – Nuclear power has been in decline since the Fukushima disaster in Japan more than a decade ago, but it may be poised for a comeback. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring natural-gas prices have led some to argue that nuclear energy can help solve the twin challenges of energy security and climate change. Is the industry back in business, or will this prove to be another false dawn?

Until recently, nuclear power’s prospects seemed poor. Plants built in the 1970s and 1980s are nearing the end of their working lives, while Germany and Japan decided to shut down theirs for political reasons. Of the relatively few new nuclear plants currently being built, many have been blighted by management failures and technical faults. The flagship EPR pressurized water reactors at Flamanville in northern France and Olkiluoto in Finland are, respectively, 13 and 12 years behind schedule. Hinkley Point in southwest England, which was supposed to have provided the power to cook Britain’s Christmas turkeys in 2023, may now be operational in 2027. Inevitably, all of these projects are massively over budget.

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Global struggles highlight Latin American Strengths

LatAm Investor - Global struggles highlight Latin American Strengths

LatAm Investor

Global struggles highlight Latin American Strengths

Global struggles highlight Latin American strengths

In the three months since our last issue, disaster has befallen Europe. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to thousands of deaths, millions of displaced people and plunged tens of millions around the world into poverty. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for 25% of the world’s wheat exports, 25% of gas reserves and – if you include fuels like LPG – are the largest exporters of oil products in the world. In other words – they provide us with the commodities we need to eat, heat and move.

The developed economies can pay more money to secure these scarce supplies – albeit at the cost of higher inflation – but many in poorer countries will simply go without. Recent protests in Pakistan and Sri Lanka are harbingers of the political upheaval this scarcity will cause around the world.


With luck, the conflict will end soon and normality can return to a world economy that was only just recovering from the pandemic. Yet, and hopefully this doesn’t come across as too ghoulish, the war highlights several strengths of Latin America. The region is a net exporter of wheat, oil and countless other commodities linked to the food and petrochemical industry – for example sugar and rubber.

The value of the region’s exports has surged since the start of the war, with Capital Economics estimating that Brazil’s commodity shipments earned 35% more than in the same period last year. Not all countries in the region are oil producers but nearly all are net commodity producers that will be able to ride out the inflation better than importers like Pakistan and Sri Lanka. As a result, most Latin American countries have seen their currencies and capital markets increase since the start of the conflict.

Pax Latin Americana

But this war does more than give commodity exporters a quick bonus. It also highlights Latin America’s peaceful nature. If you omit small skirmishes between Peru and Ecuador, the last comparable, major conflict between two Latin American countries was the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay in 1932. The global drugs trade has cursed Latin America with narco cartels, but you don’t get tanks rolling across the plains or children being bombed from the air.

Investors often complain about political risk in Latin America but it is more peaceful than Eastern Europe and more democratic than most of Asia or Africa.

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Global Economic Prospects: Slowing Growth and the Risk of Stagflation | World Bank Expert Answers

The World Bank

Global Economic Prospects: Slowing Growth and the Risk of Stagflation | World Bank Expert Answers

Global Economic Prospects: Slowing Growth and the Risk of Stagflation | World Bank Expert Answers


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