by Linda St.Cyr, Contributing Writer
Brazil is giving hope to the world by leading in the war on poverty. The country has seen dramatic changes over the years in how many people are going hungry. In 2003 over 17 million Brazilians were living in extreme poverty. That number dropped to nine million in 2009. It still means that nine million people are living in poverty, but it also means that the social programs being used to combat poverty and hunger are working.
The new Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Jose Graziano da Silva, was previously a food security minister for Brazil. He was also one of the creators of the nation’s “Zero Hunger” social programs. One of the programs is “Bolsa Familia” or “Family Grant” which gives money directly to poor households. Graziano has stated that one of his first priorities for the FAO is to eradicate hunger.
“Bolsa Familia” is the social program that can be credited with helping Brazil’s extreme poverty numbers drop. Graziano believes that the “Zero Hunger” programs should be a model for other nations. According to Fox News Latino, Graziano believes that the “strong institutional framework” including the right to food in Brazil’s constitution and working closely with civic groups are the strength behind Zero Hunger.
Graziano stated, “These two pillars are what make the Brazilian program so attractive for the world.”
Last year it was estimated that 925 million people worldwide suffered from malnutrition, hunger, and poverty by the U.N. food program. A fear that the numbers are already on the rise due to the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, rising food prices globally, and economic collapses is well founded. The social program initiatives under “Zero Hunger” should be a great starting point for governments all over the world to give hope to those living in extreme poverty.
Some of the initiatives under “Zero Hunger” include “Bolsa Familia”, job training for women, support for small farmers, and running restaurants that serve 50-cent meals.
More by Linda:
Child Poverty: America's Rising Crisis
Soles4Souls: Over 300 Million Children are Without Shoes
World Humanitarian Day: Celebrating the Men and Women Making a Difference
Yum! Brands, Inc. Fights Hunger in Africa with $1M
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