The Agenda of Commitments for social development that the Brazilian federal government launched today in the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri river valleys region marks the beginning of a program meant to bring employment and income to several subregions of Brazil.
Altogether, US$ 598 million (1.4 billion reais) are earmarked for the program in Brazil’s federal budget. This information was provided by the secretary of regional programs in the Ministry of National Integration, Carlos Gadelha.
“We are in the initial phase of the process, and we are contemplating moving up a step, involving state and municipal governments,” he commented.
Gadelha explained that, besides the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys, the program is directed at four other sub-regions: the Upper Solimões, the southern half of Rio Grande do Sul, the full extension of the Mercosur frontier, and the Araripe Plateau in the semi-arid part of the Northeast.
The program also encompasses nine regions in the semi-arid territory of the Northeast – one in each of the states that includes this type of terrain within its borders; for example, São Raimundo Nonato in Piauí and the Lower and Middle Jaguaribe in Ceará.
A third group of priorities are several twin cities in the frontier region. “Our intention – and I realize it is ambitious – is to do all of this by the end of the year. Because we have already organized the federal government, which was, perhaps, the biggest challenge.
“Now it’s time to go to the sites, launch the program, and gain leverage through partnerships with state and municipal governments and local society,” Gadelha observed.
Gadelha explained that all the sub-regions have development forums and are working together with civil society to generate employment and income.
“Everyone working together for the regional development of the Brazilian population,” is the way he puts it.