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In an effort to make countries in Latin America and the Caribbean less vulnerable to natural disasters, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced on 21 December 2005 that it has developed a new draft disaster risk management policy to encourage its member countries to plan for these events.

The IDB, the major development bank for the region, decided to place a focus on natural disaster risk planning following several devastating disasters in the region in the 1990s, including 1998's Hurricane Mitch, said Caroline Clarke, IDB senior specialist in disaster prevention and risk management. The IDB provides loans, technical assistance, and policy guidance to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.