Brazil to keep allowances for the poor

Rick Gladstone – The New York Times, 9/18/2015

Despite Brazil’s deepening economic travails and budget problems, there will be no cuts in a pioneering and widely admired program of monthly cash allowances to the poor, the official in charge of the effort said Friday.

The official, Tereza Campello, whose title is minister of social development and fight against hunger, said that the program, known as Bolsa Familia, had helped to improve the lives of millions of impoverished families and had directly contributed to significant, statistically validated advances in childhood nutrition, schooling and health care.

The program, which was started more than a decade ago, electronically transfers monthly cash allowances to bank cards that are entrusted to the heads of qualified households, but with conditions that include mandatory prenatal care, attendance at school and vaccinations. Failure to comply can lead to suspension or termination of the benefit.

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