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Brazil’s School Lunch Program Gets a 2-Cents Boost

Beginning next month, Brazilian federal government outlays on the school lunch program will increase. The daily amount transferred for each student will rise from US$ .085 (R$ .18) to US$ .104 (R$ .22).

In the case of Indians and children from communities formed by descendants of runaway slaves, the new daily allotment per child will amount to US$ .208 (R$ .44).

The announcement was made yesterday, April 24, by the Brazilian Minister of Institutional Relations, Tarso Genro.

According to Daniel Balaban, president of the National Educational Development Fund (FNDE), which is in charge of transferring the school lunch funds to the states and municipalities, the increase in the outlays on the National School Lunch Program (PNAE) will benefit around 37 million students throughout the country.

With the increase, the PNAE will receive an annual total of US$ 708 million (R$ 1.5 billion) from the federal government. According to Balaban, that is one of the reasons that the United Nations (UN) recognizes the PNAE as the world’s biggest free school lunch program.

"For the great majority of students, this is the only meal they get. That gives an idea of the importance of this program for the students, not just to keep them in the classroom but to enhance their capacity to learn," Balaban emphasizes.

The president of the FNDE informs that the logistics of the transfer of school lunch funds "is exported" to other developing countries, such as Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, and Mozambique – in Africa -, as well as Haiti, and to other Latin American countries, such as Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

Agência Brasil

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