The proposal was raised byEcuadorand plans to carry out projects by means of a trust. “The proposal consists of a trust fund for each project”, said Paez, who detailed that there are plans, for example, to use funds from the Bank of the South to build a system of Latin American laboratories which guarantee healthcare for people throughout the region”.
This project in particular aims at producing generic medicines with the possibility of ﬁnancing research regarding cures for diseases such as leishmaniasis, tuberculosis and malaria, which have not been treated by transnational pharmaceutical companies because “they are not proﬁtable”.
There are other initiatives such as building micro-regional mills controlled by local producers and governments, connected by the Internet.
That plan aims at establishing a strategic reserve of basic food staples to ensure supplies for the population during extraordinary events such as droughts, earthquakes or ﬂoods.
Currently, the creation of the Bank of the South has been conﬁrmed by the parliaments of Ecuador and Venezuela. The bank’s constitution is still pending the approval of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Chairman of the board of directors of Ecuador’s Central Bank, Diego Borjas, expressed that the regional entity should be ofﬁcially created before the end of this year, once the remaining parliaments approve their incorporation.
“We hope that Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina will solve this situation very soon”, Paez said.
The Bank of the South is an initiative of countries that comprise the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and seeks to ensure regional economic independence in a continent that has suffered severely from dependence on international ﬁnancial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Bank of the South will eventually replace funding, loans and credits provided by the IMF, with direct ﬁnancing from the region’s countries, based on a philosophy of integration, cooperation and solidarity. The bank’s founding principles prohibit the use of funds to indebt or inslave member nations, but rather to provide them with a platform for sustainable development and growth.