The Brazilian government has substantially increased funds turned to humanitarian actions and operations for maintenance of peace in 2010, totaling R$ 870.28 million in funds turned to helping countries in crisis and emergency situation, against R$ 212.45 million spent in 2009.
In total, the country turned R$ 1.6 billion (US$ 700 million) to international cooperation in 2010, growth of 91.2% over the previous year, according to the Brazilian Cooperation for International Development study (Cobradi), disclosed by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea).
The country that received most funds from Brazil that year was Haiti, with R$ 92.46 million (US$ 40.4 million), expenses that included actions like disease prevention and maintenance of United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah) troops.
According to João Brígido Lima, the coordinator of Cobradi, the greater spending in humanitarian cooperation in 2010 “may be explained by conjectures, like the natural disasters that took place on the continent,” he said, at a press conference. On January 12 that year, an earthquake shook Haiti, killing over 200,000 people and leaving 1.5 million homeless.
Apart from humanitarian cooperation and world peace, Brazil also turned resources to technical, educational, scientific and technological cooperation, as well as spending with international organizations.
In general, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean were the ones that received most international cooperation funds from Brazil, a total of R$ 195 million. The value represents 68.06% of capital turned to bilateral cooperation activities.
The countries of Africa received R$ 65 million (US$ 28 million) in funds from Brazil. Among the Arab nations on the African continent, the one that most benefited was Algeria, which received R$ 659,300 (US$ 288,000) in Brazilian funds.
Then came Egypt, with R$ 343,300 (150,000), Morocco (R$ 177,000 – US$ 77,000), Sudan (R$ 174,400 – US$ 76,000), Mauritania (R$ 153,900 – US$ 67,000), Tunisia (R$ 42,700 – US$ 19,000) and the Comoros (R$ 28,000 – US$ 12,000).
In Sudan, for example, funds were turned to strengthening food and nutritional safety in schools through the purchase of family farming products from Darfur.
“We have broad cooperation amplitude, which few countries can show and with great geographical diversity,” said Fernando Abreu, general director at the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, regarding the variety of countries aided by Brazil.
Among the Middle Eastern nations, Palestine was the main destination for international cooperation funds from Brazil, with R$ 827,500 (US$ 362,000). Saudi Arabia came in second place, with R$ 104,700 (US$ 46,000). Jordan (R$ 7,200 – US$ 3,000), the United Arab Emirates (R$ 4,500 – US$ 2,000) and Lebanon (R$ 1,500 – US$ 656) also receive Brazilian capital.
Spending of these funds include varied spending ranging from technology transfer to the concession of scholarships. In Palestine, for example, part of the funds referred to volunteer contribution to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
“We are part of a South-South cooperation scenery that is still very small if compared to the actions of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development),” said Renato Baumann, Studies and Economic and International Relations director at the Ipea, regarding funds turned by Brazil to developing nations.
Next week, the Ipea should promote incentives to studies about funds for international cooperation in Brazil in 2011. The institute’s plan is to update the development of the studies for the Cobradi to be disclosed yearly starting in 2014.