Roads and Railways Are Key for Developing Brazil’s Northeast

Brazil's northeasterners Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is certain that investment by his administration and the private sector in Northeast Brazil, where he was born, should bring about definitive changes for the region.

In his weekly Breakfast with the President radio show, Lula highlighted the role of works carried out under the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) of the Brazilian federal government as mechanisms for growth.

"All of this investment indicates that the Northeast is about to change. And it will change for the best, because the works are creating jobs, hope, income, and then everything will improve. These works are extremely important, because they had been pleaded for over the last 30, 40 years, to no avail, and now, with the PAC, we have decided to prioritize what is most important."

The president listed several infrastructure projects that are deemed important to the northeastern states. Highlights among forecasted works include the construction of 1,600 kilometers of railways to link the ports of Suape, in the state of Pernambuco, and Pecém, in Ceará.

Other works turned to outflow of production, such as construction of more railways and enlargement of roads, were also mentioned. Lula also recalled a partnership that was announced by Petrobras and Venezuelan state-owned company PDVSA for producing and refining petroleum.

Special Rapporteur

In a different front, the Human Rights Council at the United Nations (UN) confirmed that Brazilian Professor Raquel Rolnik was appointed Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. The information was published on the Brazilian UN website.

She is replacing Miloon Kathari, from India, and explained, in an interview to Rádio ONU (UN Radio), from the southeastern Brazilian city of São Paulo, what she should do in her new position.

"To me, the job consists primarily of proposing things, not just trying to intermediate conflicts linked to eventual violations of housing rights, but also fostering policies that present a solution, that are capable of reducing, now and in the future, situations of forced eviction, of precarious housing," she said.

Raquel is a Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) in Campinas, in the state of São Paulo, and holds a doctorate in History from the New York University. She worked in the Ministry of Cities, in the Brazilian capital Brasí­lia, until 2007.

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