Violence grew 130 percent in Brazil between 1980 and 2000, chiefly striking
young people between 15 and 24 years old. During this period, nearly 600 thousand
murders occurred in Brazil or 82 murders every day of the year.. Whereas in
the decade of the '80's traffic accidents were the main cause of violent deaths
among males, in the '90's murders led the statistics. These data are contained
in the Synthesis of Social Indicators, released Monday by the Brazilian Institute
of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
For the president of the
IBGE, José Eduardo Nunes, the causes of violence are related to poverty
and joblessness. According to Nunes, poverty and violence render the young
population vulnerable. "If a young person has no chance to work and lacks
decent living conditions and access to a series of public services, he will
become part of a vulnerable group," he affirmed.
Between 1980 and 2000,
murders of people in the 15-24 age bracket increased 54 percent in Pernambuco,
51 percent in Rio, 46 percent in Espírito Santo, and 42 percent in
São Paulo. The study shows that the care provided by the Unified Public
Health System (SUS) for victims of violence is precarious, which contributes
to the number of deaths.
The situation is most
critical in the North, where there are only 4.7 hospital beds for every 100
thousand victims. In the Northeast the figure is 5.8 per 100 thousand; in
the South, 13 per 100 thousand; in the Center-West, 10.6 per 100 thousand;
and in the Southeast, 10.5 per 100 thousand.
Brazil has made progress
in some areas, but it remains a country with a vast divide between the country's
regions and the rich and the poor. That is the result of the latest Household
Survey (PNAD) for 2002 by the government statistical bureau (IBGE), says Ana
Lucia Sabóia who heads the IBGE Division of Social Indicators.
The survey found that
more people have access to education and healthcare, with the result that
there is less illiteracy and lower birth and infant mortality rates. And there
are now more older people in Brazil than ever before.
However, there are reasons
for concern. Twenty percent of all children born in 2002 had mothers who were
less than 20 years old, which has a negative impact on schooling. There was
also a sharp rise95 percentin deaths from firearms among young
people between the ages of 15 and 24.
According to the PNAD
2002, satisfactory water services are available in almost 90 percent of Brazilian
homes in urban centers. In the Southeast and South that number rises to over
94 percent. But when the North region is examined, old regional disparities
become apparent: only 56.4 percent of homes there have adequate water services.
As might be expected,
the slums of Rio de Janeiro are a disaster area in the middle of the Southeast
region. Metropolitan Rio has some 335,000 homes without adequate water supplies.
That translates into around one million inhabitants without a safe source
Márcio Cunha, a
sociologist and urban planner with the IBGE, says the problem remains a lack
of investment in basic sanitation in Brazil's urban centers. All the big metropolitan
regions have problems similar to those in Rio, he says.
The PNAD survey takes
place annually and visits 110,000 homes in all parts of the country except
the rural areas of the North region.
The World Bank (IBRD)
is conducting meetings with representatives of Brazilian companies and the
government to discuss topics such as poverty reduction, economic growth, and
social development, which will be debated on the distance education Global
Development Learning Network (GDLN).
The GDLN uses videoconferences
to share information in various areas for the purpose of promoting socio-economic
development, with an emphasis on human resource training. The network, which
began 4 years ago, has been functioning in Brazil since November, 2002. Last
year 100 events were promoted in the country by the network.
"The main goal is
to optimize our activities as a network in the country and to discuss the
activities that our institutional partners have been developing in the area
of distance training with a focus on local development," says Fernando
Félix, coordinator of the network in Brazil.
Rafael Gasparotto works for Agência Brasil (AB), the
official press agency of the Brazilian government. Comments
are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.