Sunday, June 5, 2011

Brazil launches program to eradicate extreme poverty

Brasilia (Brazil) Special Envoy - The ambitious goal is clear: "Brazil without misery." This is the name of the plan launched with great fanfare Thursday, June 2 in Brasilia by President Dilma Rousseff and does no less than eradicate his country's "extreme poverty" by 2014. 16, 2 million Brazilians - 8.5% of the population - live in extreme poverty on less than 70 reais - 30 euros - per month.

Half of them were under 19, and 40% under 14. 60% of them live in the North East. 22% are illiterate. Of the 30 million Brazilians living in rural areas, one in four is "very poor". Ending poverty was an election promise of the candidate Dilma Rousseff. In announcing his plan, the president described him as the priority of his mandate.

Combat "chronic poverty" entrenched for centuries, and held too long for a "fatality" was, she said, "The most difficult challenge facing the problem the biggest and scariest of this country." This battle, the government intends to conduct on all fronts: social benefits, education, employment, health, access to public services, improving infrastructure, rural development.

Recycling plan, improves, enhances existing policies and includes new measures. It focuses on three axes. The first is to give a little more money to the needy by extending the scope of the "family grant" ("bolsa familia"), this income transfer program created under the reign of Former President Lula da Silva, and enjoyed 12 million poor families and very poor.

Now, up to five children per family - and not only three - will be entitled to the allowance, or 1.3 million additional children. The monthly amount paid to the mother, up, will vary between 14 and 136 euros. Above all, the goal is to award the scholarship families by December 2013, 800,000 new families would qualify, but who do not receive because they are geographically isolated, impoverished and forgotten information by State services.

"We must do away with the mentality that poor people should go ask the State. The State has to go to the poor" this week underlined the Minister for Social Development, Tereza Campello, in an interview to Le Monde , the BBC and El Pais. "Officials will have to change the culture, identify poor families, get to their home and act." Since its inception in 2003, the scholarship family has allowed tens of millions of Brazilians have enough to eat, to live a little better and even discover the joys of consumption and credit.

But it is not enough. "A growing Brazil can not just develop a general welfare program," observes Ms. Campello. Hence the second focus of the government's plan: to ensure the poorest access to public services: education, health, water, electricity, a sewage system. Almost a very poor rural family in two has neither running water nor a well over one in two do have sewage or septic tank.

The third axis of the plane - the "productive inclusion" - aims to give "very poor" economic means to escape permanently from poverty. Through employment, vocational training, microcredit. Brazil lack of manpower for low-skilled jobs: the goal is to train 1.7 million people in urban areas by 2014.

Another objective is to quadruple the number of small poor farmers subsidized by the state and advised by agricultural technicians. These families receive seeds and seedlings. A "green award" will encourage them to protect the environment. "If Brazil by 2014 accomplishes what he has planned," concluded the minister, he will be the first developing country to achieve the main objective of the millennium set in 2000 by the United Nations: to reduce extreme poverty.

" Jean-Pierre Langellier

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