Brazil may achieve social indicators similar to those of developed countries by 2016 if the country is able to maintain the same rate of reduction of extreme poverty and income inequality as recorded over the 2003 to 2008 period. By the same token, the country may record an absolute poverty rate of 4%.
The data, which were disclosed this Tuesday, January 12, were taken from a document issued by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), linked to the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic. People are considered extremely poor who earn up to 25% of one minimum wage per month, whereas the absolutely poor earn up to 50% of one minimum wage per month.
"If we make a projection of the best performances recently recorded in Brazil in terms of poverty and inequality reduction (2003-2008 period) to the year of 2016, the result would be a very positive social outlook. Brazil may virtually overcome the problem of extreme poverty, as well as attain a national absolute poverty rate of only 4%, which means its near-eradication," the document states.
According to the document, the majority of the progress achieved by Brazil in fighting poverty and inequality is either directly or indirectly related to the structuring of public policies of social intervention, provided for in the Federal Constitution of 1988.
The Ipea also points out three other decisive factors to fighting poverty and inequality: increased social spending in the country, which went from 19% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1990 to 21.9% of the GDP in 2005; decentralization of social policy, with an extended role played by municipalities in the implementation of social policies, as their share of social spending rose 53.8% from 1980 to 2008; and social participation in the formatting and management of social policies.
According to the institute, institutional consolidation of the framework of social laws in Brazil would be an important step towards maintaining, in coming years, the fight against poverty and inequality in the country.
"It is important that a new law be passed regulating social responsibility and commitment, with goals, funds, timetables and coordination, so that Brazil may achieve social indicators similar to those currently seen in developed countries. All of that must obviously take place with no backlashes in terms of participation of society in the formatting, monitoring and control of public policies," states the document.