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African Authorities in Brazil Learn How Zero Hunger Works

A delegation of government officials from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Zambia was received on Friday, January 27, by Brazil’s Minister of Social Development, Patrus Ananias.

The purpose of their visit was to learn about Brazil’s experience with the Family Grant, the government’s income transfer program, which is part of the Zero Hunger effort.

They were taken to observe the program at work in communities in the city of Formosa, in the state of Goiás, near the Brazilian capital, Brasí­lia.

The director of Programs in Mozambique’s National Social Action Institute, Noel Trindade, said that, although there are "considerable differences between Brazil and his country, it was very useful to become acquainted with details of how the Family Grant operates in Brazil." He singled out the link between concession of the benefit and children’s school attendance.

Another detail that caught Trindade’s attention is the organization surrounding the list of families, providing information on their situation not only in the area of food consumption but health and education, as well.

Last year the Ministry of Social Development and Hunger Alleviation spent US$ 7.67 billion (17 billion reais) on its programs, and minister Ananias predicts that this year’s expenditures will total US$ 9.48 billion (21 billion reais).

"In Lula’s Administration the social question is not philanthropy, nor is it for electoral ends; it is a matter of government policy, law, and justice," Ananias affirmed.

According to the minister, the unified list established for the Family Grant program has undergone constant improvement, incorporating new and modern technologies to avert fraud.

One of the measures he sees as important in this area is the creation of a public oversight network, in partnership with the Public Defense Ministry, and the integrated effort with municipal governments to update the lists.

"The local councils and control committees established for the program in each city permit a social control that is very important to the functioning of the program," Ananias believes.

In his view, Brazil has become an international model in the area of social policies, recognized by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and various United Nations bodies, which have recommended the Family Grant program to other countries.

Agência Brasil

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  • Guest

    These Africans….
    I’m just wondering whether this visit from these African ministers was a serious attempt at learning something (useful?) or just another junket. Last time I encountered a group of African ministers (fron Nigeria, actually, including the President) it was just after lunch in the ‘Moff’ in Al/Santos. Apparently they were here to visit Lula. What struck me, was the sheer volume of the entourage that accompanied them: wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, a vast amount of assorted grandchildren and nannies. In fact, a whole tribe of extended family, friends, and hangers-on. All were, of course, staying at the ‘Moff’ at the expense of the Nigerian government. Funny that, as the country is so poor it receives regular hand-outs from my country (Britain) and a variety of other (foolish) European nations. Perhaps it’s time to stop all that nonsense.I’m sure nobody honestly believes that African governments give give a Frenchman’s d–k about their poor undernourished populations. They haven’t in the past. They don’t even appear care if their populations systematically chop each other up with knives.It seems their primary concern is with syphoning off as much government cash into secret bank accounts as possible, and then absconding. An Austrian friend of mine, here in Brazil, said that we should build a wall round Africa and leave for a few hundred years. Anyone agree?

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