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SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BRAZIL

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POVERTY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

A major nationwide program, Comunidade Solidária; (Community Solidarity), was launched in 1995 by the Federal Government to coordinate the work of public agencies and mobilize society in combating hunger and poverty. An Advisory Board and an Executive Secretariat, at the Presidential level, are responsible for establishing sectoral and geographic priorities, promoting decentralized projects undertaken by all three levels of government, and attracting broad participation by society in their implementation. Optimization of government initiatives, support to public-private partnerships and a focus on major groups at risk, such as children, youth and the unemployed are main targets of the program, which has food security, basic education, jobs and income, infant mortality, family farming, and urban improvement as priorities.

One of the most relevant factors for the analysis of sustainability in Brazil is the question of poverty. The poverty line may be defined as the total household income necessary first, to acquire basic foodstuffs compatible with recommended minimum nutrient requirements, and secondly, to have access to basic services. The indigence line, on the other hand, only takes into account the first parameter. There is considerable diversity within Brazil as to household income levels and expenditures, purchasing power in general and with respect to the minimum wage, as well as costs of goods and services, and there is a shortage of consistent and regular data on the subject.

In 1990, thirty percent of the population nation-wide was poor, and twelve percent was indigent, reflecting, among other things, significant rural-urban and regional imbalances. In the same year, fifty-three percent of the rural population was poor, whereas in urban areas the poor constituted eighteen percent of the total. A disproportionate number of the poor live in the Northeast, which has thirty percent of the country's population but fifty-five percent of all the poor in Brazil.

Poverty levels seem to have declined since the inception of the Real Plan in July 1994. A comparative study of the six largest metropolitan areas, which account for one third of the overall urban population but which may have a higher than average percentage of the urban poor, indicated a reduction from 14.8 million at that time to 10.7 million poor in December 1995, or a return to the absolute figures for 1990 and consequently to smaller percentages. There again the average income and access to services within the poor group in the Southeast, as shown in social indicators, remained higher than in the Northeastern metropolises.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information is based on Brazil's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


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DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Ministries more directly involved in demographic issues are Planning and Budget, Health, Education, Labor, and Social Security. Those, as well as the Ministries of Justice and the Environment coordinate their efforts in the fields of population, environment and development.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The annual population rate of growth, which was high until the 1960s, has shown a marked decline since then. A rapid drop in the fertility rate took place in every region, most specifically in urban areas and in the high income and educational levels. As such, fertility rates have come down from an average of 5.8% in the sixties to 3.2% in the eighties, and the resultant annual population growth rate from 2.9% to 2.1% respectively.

The 1991 census figures have been updated by annual household sample surveys. Projections to the year 2000 point to about 165 million in total population, leveling off at about 250 million around the year 2050.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 


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This information is based on Brazil's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997



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HEALTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Primarily involved in this area are the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Security and Welfare through the Unified Health System involving Federal, State and Municipal levels and community participation.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Health care remains one of the major issues, especially for low income groups in urban settlements as well as in the rural areas. The Unified Health System (SUS), which integrates all levels of government, faced a serious financial crisis in 1996, and a new tax of 0.2% on financial transactions was introduced in order to settle payments in arrears to public and private hospitals and clinics.

Public health figures show the precariousness of basic sanitation services, and the persistence of endemic diseases. The annual mortality rate of the population stands at about 0.6%, or approximately 1 million people. Main causes of death have been due to circulatory diseases, external factors (accidents, homicides and other), and neoplasms, in that order, but varying according to the region, and to educational and income levels. Water borne diseases are most common in the North and parasitic ones in the Northeast, whereas most of the deaths from external causes, including traffic accidents and homicides, occur in the Southeast.

Malaria persists in the Amazon region as a public health challenge, and cases of tuberculosis and AIDS have increased since 1992. On the other hand, the incidence of hanseniasis has been halved since 1990, and no new cases are expected by the year 2000. Eradication is the target for meningitis and neonatal tetanus by 1998, and the same for Aedes aegypti (yellow fever and backbone fever) and Triatoma infestans (Chagas disease). Polio has been not been seen since 1989, and figures for Diphtheria and whooping cough in 1994 were down to one third of what they were in 1991.

Other health issues include:

The Unified Health System provided for 12.6 million hospitalizations in about 2,000 public and private hospitals in 1995, and 1.2 billion consultations in out-patient clinics. There are 507,000 hospital beds, or about 300 beds per inhabitants, one third of which are in public establishments. The average number of persons per doctor or registered nurse, in 1990 was, respectively, 847 and 3448.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

This information is based on Brazil's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

Click here to go to the Health and health-related statistical information from the World Health Organization.

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EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

There are several Brazilian initiatives in education that demonstrate, in practice, the concern and commitment to sustainable development. Some of these are:

The National Environmental Education Program - PRONEA, signed by the Ministries of Environment, Education, Science and Technology, and Culture, and approved in 1994, outlines the actions for formal and non-formal environmental education. In accordance with these guidelines, the National Environmental Education Program is guided by two main goals:

Although education is freely accessible at all levels in Brazil, according to 1990 statistics, the educational level of the overall population could be described as follows:

Education for all, as set forth in the National Policy on Basic Education, is both a constitutional requirement and an international commitment undertaken by Brazil at Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990. Priorities and targets set for education until the year 2000 include:

Other relevant features indicate that :

The Law of Basic Guidelines for Education (LDB), recently approved by the National Congress, enhances education for citizenship and for development with sustainability. The 1996 School Census proves that the educational performance of Brazil has improved over the last five years, decreasing the proportion of illiterate individuals with respect to the total Brazilian population and increasing the number of students at all educational levels. Some examples of the actions to improve the quality of education in Brazil:

Most of the activities in Environmental Education are developed through partnerships among the various types of institutions: governmental, non-governmental, businesses, teaching and research, and others.

The national survey of environmental education projects carried out in 1997 by the MMA, identified innovative punctual actions that contribute to raising environmental awareness in communities, families and traditional populations. Some of these are:

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information is based on Brazil's submission to the 5th & 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last update: 27 April 1998

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HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

A Bill providing for the establishment of a National Council on Urban Policy (CNPU), having as members representatives from federal, state and municipal governments, as well as from civil society on a parity basis, was submitted to Congress in 1995. CNPU will have four Permanent Chambers as subsidiary bodies, to address respectively issues on Urban Management, Housing, Sanitation and Urban Environment and Urban Transportation. The Secretariat for Urban Policy of the Ministry of Planning and Budget is responsible for housing and sanitation issues at the federal level, with the assistance of other Ministries, such as Health, Transport, and Environment, Water Resources and the Amazon. The National Urban Policy Council will have a systematic and decentralized approach to the basic issues concerning human settlements, with emphasis on decisions at the local level. Main targets concern the quality of life in urban areas, especially in metropolitan regions, and a better distribution of the population throughout the country.

About 10,000 urban settlements were located in 5,131 municipalities distributed throughout 26 States in 1991. Some 25.5% of the municipalities had fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, and 3.6% more than 100,000. The nine metropolitan regions accounted for nearly 30% of the total population in the country.

There were approximately 39.8 million households in 1995, 32.1 million of which were urban and 7.7 million rural. Estimates as to the number of inadequate dwellings, either improvised or overcrowded, varied from 6.0 to 8.0 million, and do not include those lacking in one or more regular basic services (water supply, sewerage and waste collection), which may run to another 7.4 to 10.6 million. Of the total urban population 14% lived in sub-standard dwellings (favelas), 75% of which are in the nine metropolitan regions, mostly in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

General expansion and improvement in urban areas would include two million housing units and water and sanitation services to over 8 million, involving almost US$ 45 billion. From 3.4 to 6.0 million new homes, in addition to those that require improvement, would have to be built in urban areas, to cope with this deficit, largely in the Southeastern region. In addition, the annual demand increment for urban housing presently stands at about 1.3 million. About 514 thousand units were financed by credit institutions from 1990 to 1994, and most of new construction is self-financed. Shortages of adequate rural housing, not considering those with insufficient basic services, has remained stationary at about 1.6 to 2.0 million, predominantly in the Northeast.

Several ongoing public-sponsored programs, ranging from mortgage and credit to rental and low-cost public programs, may provide 2 million new housing units from 1996 to 1999. However, average monthly family income, for approximately 70% of the target population, is under 2 minimum wages (about US$ 210). Provisions from the federal budget, savings accounts and the compulsory Employee's Guaranteed Savings Fund (FGTS) are estimated at US$ 26 billion. Additional resources would normally include those from state and municipal governments, multilateral financial institutions, pension funds, and private investment. Top priorities include: populations at risk and low-income families, job-creation and capacity building, improved efficiency in basic services, access to land and protection against eviction, incentives for the occupation of the existing 3 million vacant housing units, and for enhanced technology aimed at low-cost housing, and disincentives for idle property.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and KFW may provide about USD$700 million in loans through the year 1999.


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This information is based on Brazil's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For information related to human settlements and refugees, you may access the UNHCR Country Index by clicking here:

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