Egypt Wants to Know What Makes Brazil’s Zero Hunger Tick

Brazil's Zero Hunger program Ali El-Sayed Al-Moselhi, the Egyptian minister of Social Solidarity, is in Brazil to get more closely acquainted with the social programs implemented in the country. Al-Moselhi will follow, during the week, a schedule in the Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia and in the southeastern state of São Paulo.

In the federal capital, where he will stay until Tuesday, the Egyptian leader will be received by the minister of Social Development and Hunger Alleviation, Patrus Ananias.

In São Paulo, Al-Moselhi will get to know the actions of Zero Hunger, a social program by the government of Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, carried out in the municipality of Guarulhos, which adjoins the capital of São Paulo.

According to the commercial consul of Egypt to São Paulo, Mohamed Bakri Agami, who is helping to organize the minister's schedule in Brazil, Al-Moselhi's trip is the result of an invitation by Ananias. The Brazilian minister participated, in May this year, in a meeting for ministers in the social field in the Arab and South American countries, held in the Egyptian city of Cairo.

On the occasion, Ananias presented the Zero Hunger program. In the meeting in Brasí­lia, the two ministers should resume the topic. "The minister wants to know the Brazilian social programs," Bakri sums it up. During his stay in São Paulo, from Tuesday to Friday, Al-Moselhi will also be received by leaders at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

In Guarulhos, the Egyptian will meet the local mayor, Elói Pietá, and will become acquainted with locally developed social actions. According to information supplied by the City Hall press office, Al-Moselhi will be taken to places such as popular priced restaurants, where meals are served for 1 Brazilian real (US$ 0.47) for the low-income population, and the Solidary Shed ("Galpão Solidário") program, where foods and clothes are stored that have been raised for distribution to the impoverished population.

The clothes are collected in campaigns to gather clothes, and the foods are permanently collected in campaigns promoted by the City Hall, alongside organizations, businessmen, and associations in the municipality of Guarulhos.

The city is regarded as a nationwide reference in the execution of the Bolsa Famí­lia (Family Voucher), an income distribution program that is part of the Zero Hunger. In Guarulhos, the Bolsa Famí­lia distributes funds to more than 45,000 impoverished families.

Each family receives from 15 reais (US$ 7.20) to 95 reais (US$ 45.7) per month, depending on the number of children they have, as an income complement. In the popular priced restaurants implemented by the Guarulhos City Hall, more than 997,000 meals have already been served since they started being distributed, in December 2001.

Currently, there are two units, and a third one is under construction. The customers are mainly comprised of people who live on the streets, paper collectors, low-income families, students, office boys, and the elderly.

Al-Moselhi is accompanied by three technicians in his Ministry, two representatives of the United Nations World Food program, a technician of the Egyptian Ministry of Health, and a representative of the Dutch Embassy in Cairo.

The mission will be received today in Brasí­lia by the special adviser to the Zero Hunger program, Adriana Aranha, and by the head of the International Advisory to the Ministry of Social Development, Silas Leite. On Tuesday, the meeting with minister Ananias will be held.

The minister Al-Moselhi holds bachelor's degrees in Engineering and Military Engineering. He also took a masters' course in Circuit Design, and masters and doctorate courses in Computer Engineering in France. Even before being a minister, the Egyptian had occupied other positions, among them president at the board of directors at the Egyptian National Post Organization (ENPO).

Anba –



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