December 15, 2011
Andrea Dip – Publica/Huffington Post, 12/14/2011
The clip promoting Brazil’s 2014 World Cup shows a conference table in a New York office. The cry of “goal!!” echoes from a far away place, and an American in a tie asks, “Did you hear that?”
The video continues showing Brazil’s natural wonders, including Rio de Janeiro’s beautiful beaches and Iguazu’s cataracts. The voiceover concludes: “Brazil is calling you. Celebrate life here.”
In Brazil, however, the voices coming from the streets appear to be more in protest than in celebration. Obsessed with soccer, the fans say that they are threatened by cabinet agreements and that their rights are being robbed by FIFA’s demands and the pharaonic public work projects that are tearing up their cities.
December 15, 2011
Los Angeles Times, 12/12/2011
Brazil’s huge northern state of Pará is about three times the size of California, home to much of the Amazon rain forest and is the second-largest producer of the nation’s most important export, iron ore.
But poverty levels are well above the national average.
“It’s like a poor family, living in an impoverished home, suffering from hunger, but with a Ferrari parked outside,” Josenir Nascimento, head of a local municipal association, was quoted as saying in the O Globo newspaper. “And all the money is spent on maintaining the car.”
May 2, 2011
Stuart Grudgings – Reuters, 04/29/2011
Rio de Janeiro’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics is an unprecedented chance to promote Brand Brazil and ensure a legacy of economic and social benefits, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Friday.
Despite budget overruns by recent Olympic host cities and criticism of the huge cost of major sporting events, Blair said hosting such massive events was still worth it for the cascade of social and economic benefits they can bring.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity which is why people compete so fiercely to host the World Cup and the Olympics Games,” Blair, who played a leading role in the successful London 2012 Olympic campaign, told the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Rio de Janeiro.
February 4, 2011
President Rousseff says public health is one of her top priorities. Photo: AP
Brazil is to provide free medicines for everyone suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes.
The drugs will be distributed through a nationwide network of budget pharmacies, where many medicines are already heavily subsidised.
President Dilma Rousseff said the measure was part of her campaign to end extreme poverty in Brazil.
August 26, 2010
Inter-American Dialogue Policy Brief, June 2010
Good fiscal policy not only promotes macroeconomic stability and growth, it is also a powerful tool for directly reducing poverty and inequality. Many governments around the world have raised and spent funds to build the assets of the poor and to directly redistribute income, successfully improving welfare and constructing more prosperous and equal societies.
Unfortunately, fiscal policy in Latin America does not have a good record of reducing poverty and inequality. Why? According to the best information available, the combination of inadequate revenues, low-quality services and poor targeting helps explain why poverty has declined so slowly and why inequality has remained extraordinarily high.
January 20, 2010
Jonathan Wheatley-Financial Times, 1/20/10
At his hair salon in Paraisópolis, one of São Paulo’s biggest favelas , Valderan Souza is ebullient about the current state of his market.
His turnover, he says, has risen by 80 per cent over the past three years. “I would never leave here,” he says. “There are so many customers.”
Mr Souza used to work in a luxury salon in one of São Paulo’s smartest shopping centres, but he says he can make much more money in Paraisópolis.
Brazil’s favelas , or shantytowns, used to be ghettos for the poorest of the urban poor. Living conditions are often still tough but the favelas are also home to many of Brazil’s new consumers, more than 20m of whom have emerged from poverty over the past six years.
October 13, 2009
Fernanda Santos-The New York Times, 10/12/09
From a veranda at Candyall Ghetto Square, a recording studio and rehearsal space for his percussion band Timbalada, the musician Carlinhos Brown appraised the contrasting worlds that define the neighborhood where he grew up.
“Poverty is not an excuse for anything,” Mr. Brown, 46, said on a recent gray afternoon here, his eyes shielded by a pair of oversize sunglasses. “Poverty is an opportunity.”
Mr. Brown — a singer, songwriter and percussionist who is one of Brazil’s best-known artists — once made music banging on the water barrels that he used to carry home to his mother, who earned a living washing clothes. Back then, his neighborhood, Candeal Pequeno, or Little Candeal, had so many fruit trees that a kid would go hungry only if he could not climb.
But as Salvador grew, Candeal (pronounced KAHN-djee-AHL), developed on what used to be a belt of tropical forest in the middle of the city, became so big so fast that it could no longer sustain itself. …