Brazil continues fight against extreme poverty
09 June 2011
Having announced when taking office that her most urgent priority was the fight against extreme poverty, President Rousseff has launched the Brasil sem Miséria (Brazil without Extreme Poverty) programme, a series of further measures aimed at helping Brazil's poorest people.
'Brazil will only be a truly rich country when all Brazilians have a good quality of life and enough income to support themselves and their families,' she said.
According to government figures, more than 20 million Brazilians have been lifted out of extreme poverty since 2003, but around 16 million people – 8% of the population – remain.
The much-lauded Bolsa Família programme – cash transfers that were the main weapon in the fight against extreme poverty under President Lula – will now be guided by a philosophy of busca ativa (active search), seeking out families who are entitled to the payments but do not receive it due to geographical isolation, lack of information, or administrative problems. As a consequence it is anticipated that an extra 800,000 families will receive assistance by the end of 2013.
The payments themselves will also increase, as announced earlier this year, and the number of children per family eligible to receive payments will increase from three to five.
The scope of the latest initiatives extends beyond welfare payments, however, as under the heading inclusão produtiva (productive inclusiveness) the government is launching a series of measures aimed at helping people escape poverty permanently. These include micro-credit and technical assistance for small farmers, and vocational training for poor Brazilians in urban areas.
Click here for further information and key figures of the Brasil sem Miséria programme.
Visit the Brasil sem Miséria website (in Portuguese)
Source: Office of the President, Ministry of Food Security and Combating Hunger and Embassy of Brazil in London