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Brazil's policy for social inclusion to be cited as an international model by World Bank and United Nations
"This agreement recognizes Brazil as a global leader in reducing poverty and inequality," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
BRASÍLIA (07 March 2013) – At a signing ceremony held on Tuesday in Brasília, the World Bank and the United Nations announced a commitment to turn the Brazilian government’s Bolsa Família social program under the “Brazil without Extreme Poverty” plan into an international model for social inclusion. As part of the Knowledge and Innovation for Poverty Reduction Initiative, the Brazilian government and the two international organizations will compile information as a guide for other countries to develop or improve their own social inclusion policies based on the Brazilian experience.
Since its inception in 2011, “Brazil without Extreme Poverty” has lifted 22 million people out of extreme poverty through Bolsa Família, the national cash transfer program. The Bolsa Família program, implemented by the Brazilian government since 2003, currently guarantees a monthly income of more than R$ 70 per person to registered families. As of December 2012, 13.9 million families were beneficiaries of Bolsa Família grants.
For the Brazilian government, supplementary income has been a major tool in overcoming poverty, but there are also strategies to increase formal job productivity and labor market incentives, such as the increase in minimum wage.
"Brazil has designed a social policy that is not separate from the country’s economic or general policy. On the contrary, it is central to the country’s national agenda" said the Director of the International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Jorge Chediek, during the signing ceremony of an agreement between the international organizations and the Brazilian government.
The Knowledge and Innovation for Poverty Reduction Initiative is part of an overall World Bank effort to produce systematic knowledge and share successful experiences that can be replicated in other countries. In addition to Brazil’s experience in overcoming extreme poverty, the institution has also signed agreements with China in the area of urban transport, and with South Africa in the area of education.
"This agreement recognizes Brazil as a global leader in reducing poverty and inequality," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
Brazil’s Minister of Social Development Tereza Campello attributes the largest share of the government’s success to Bolsa Família, saying: "Bolsa Família serves as a basis for developing policies to overcome extreme poverty, not only because it is innovative on several levels, but also because we understand that for a social technology to be implemented and work it needs to have a national dimension, scale and impact."
The President of the Brazilian Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), Marcelo Neri, believes that the Brazilian case is interesting not only with respect to the study of poverty but also because of the results achieved, especially in the last decade.
"Brazil has met the Millennium Development Goals in advance of the 2015 deadline," said Neri.
Under this new agreement, the first task will be to create a knowledge repository of studies already conducted by IPEA, the World Bank and other institutions. Then, further research will examine what has made Brazil’s social inclusion programs successful and which innovations have potential for expansion. In the third stage, the initiative aims to collect ideas and perspectives on solutions to any problems in implementing poverty reduction policies, based on the experiences of Brazil and other countries.
"What we are planning here today will not be just an inter-institutional agreement, but also a tool for millions of people to improve their living conditions by applying Brazil’s social technologies," explained Chediek.
The Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Presidency of Brazil is responsible for coordinating the public relations activities for the government of Brazil. The official website of the Brazilian State is www.brasil.gov.br. The official social media accounts for the Brazilian State are on Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/BrazilGovNews/ and twitter.com/BrazilGovNews.