Monday, August 03, 2009

Brazil's Anti-Poverty Stipend Up

In an attempt to help families meet the increases in Brazilian food prices, lessen the effects of the economic crisis, and increase consumer spending--the Brazilian government increases their anti-poverty stipend. Reported in Bloomberg, by Iuri Dantas and Andre Soliani.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva raised the benefit in the country’s flagship anti- poverty program by 9.7 percent seeking to ease the impact of the economic crisis on the poorest citizens.

The minimum monthly amount paid by the so-called “Bolsa Familia” will be raised to 68 reais ($36.5) in September from 62 reais now, a decree published in the government’s gazette said.

Faster economic growth coupled with Lula’s social programs helped lift 16.5 million Brazilians out of poverty between 2003 and 2007, according to the government’s Institute of Applied Economic Research.

“The increase has a double effect: it helps protect the poor from the global crisis and stimulate the economy by increasing consumption,” Neri said.

The anti-poverty program, which was created in October 2003, provides cash payments to 11.4 million families, according to the Social Development Ministry.

The total budget for the “Bolsa Familia” this year will be increased to about 12 billion reais, from an original forecast of 11.4 billion reais, the ministry said today. The program is expected to benefit a total of 12.9 million families by the beginning of next year.

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