Dilma Rousseff to Lift 16 M Brazilians Out of PovertyWorld | June 3, 2011, Friday // 13:47| views
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has vowed to raise 16.2 million people above the level of extreme poverty through an ambitious welfare program. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria-born Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has launched an ambitious welfare scheme to eliminate extreme poverty in the country, lifting over 16 million people out of destitution.
Rousseff, whose father, Peter Rousseff was born in the Bulgarian town of Garbovo, has assigned the "Brazil Without Poverty" program a priority status, fulfilling one of the key promises made during her election campaign last year, her advisors say, as quoted by international media.
Poorer voters, millions of whom whom benefited from rapid economic growth and an expanded anti-poverty program under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, are the main electoral base for Rousseff's center-left Workers' Party.
"Brazil proved to the world that the best way to grow is distributing wealth", Rouseff said at a ceremony in the capital.
She was accompanied by by her chief of staff Antonio Palocci and Vice President Michel Temer of the PMDB party, the Workers' Party's main coalition ally.
Despite the progress made by Brazil over the past few years and the brisk growth rates that have sent it to the top of the ranks of the world's biggest economies, it is facing a crisis of poverty which is graver than any financial crisis, the first female Brazilian President said.
"We can't forget that the most permanent, challenging and harrowing crisis is having chronic poverty in this country.", Rousseff stated.
The new welfare scheme aims to lift 16.2 million people out of extreme poverty, defined as an income of less than USD 44 per month, through a multi-pronged approach envisaging expanded financial aid, improved education, access to water and energy, as well as job training.
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