World Bank Tells Brazil to Fight Poverty If It Wants to Catch Up with China

Brazil and the other countries in Latin America need to be more aggressive in attacking poverty, if they want to grow and compete with countries such as China.

This recommendation comes from the World Bank, which sponsored an international seminar, "Poverty, Inequality, and Growth in Latin America and Brazil," Thursday, May 17, in Brasí­lia.

The seminar was organized together with the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and the British government’s Department for International Development.

According to the report, "Poverty Reduction and Growth: Virtuous and Vicious Cycles," although growth is important in reducing poverty, it is poverty that hinders growth in Latin America. Nearly a quarter of the region’s population gets by on less than two dollars a day.

According to World Bank economist, Ethan Weisman, this cycle can be broken by investing more in infrastructure and social policies. He commended the Brazilian federal government’s Family Grant program.

"Indeed, the Family Grant is one of the best. They [the programs] produce positive results in the conditions for receiving the money and the population that receives it," he remarked.

The World Bank report refers to Brazil as a country that promoted significant improvements in the welfare of the population between 1960 and 2000.

The improvements were the result of health advances and the increase in Brazilians’ life expectancy, which rose from 55 to 68 years during the period.

Agência Brasil

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