Brazil

Location : South America
Area : 8,511,965 km²
Population : 186 million people (2006 estimate)
Capital : Brasilia (2 million people)
Main cities : São Paulo (18.4 million people ), Rio de Janeiro (11.1 million people), Belo Horizonte (4.5 million people), Porto Alegre (3.8 million people), Salvador de Bahia (2.4 million people), Fortaleza (2.14 million people ).
Official language : Portuguese
Currency : Real (BRL) - 1 EUR = 2.78 BRL
GDP/member of population : $3,370
Life expectancy : 67.4 (for men): 75.5 years (for women)
Literacy Rate : 89%
Human development index (UNO) : 0.777 (65th out of 177)


The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (BGE) has revealed that the overall unemployment rate rose from 7.9% to 9.3% between 2002 and 2003. These percentage figures should actually be doubled in order to reflect unemployment levels amongst the young: 18% of young people have no job. But alongside this situation, child labour is very widespread within the poorest communities. In the State of Maranhão it is estimated that 30% of boys and 14% of girls work.

The Northern region and the Nordeste region are those regions that are most affected by the problems of poverty, literacy, school non-attendance, formal employment, child labour, rural development. Some 50% of the poorest section of the country’s population lives within the Nordeste region.

This is the reason why ESSOR is targeting these regions and focussing on these areas of development. Brazil has a dynamic civil society and, in each area in which it operates, ESSOR works in partnership with local NGOs that can benefit from institutional development programmes.

The areas where the programmes are taking place include : João Pessoa (Paraiba State), Fortaleza and those rural regions in the State of Ceara, São Luis (Maranhão), Belem and the amazon region of Bas Tocantins (Para), Manaus (Amazonas).


Despite the undeniable economic progress being made and significant social work programmes that have been implemented in recent years, Brazil remains a country that clearly suffers from poverty and inequalities.


An investigation carried out by Institut des Etudes Economiques Appliquées [(IPEA) or the Institute of Applied Economics], indicates that 1% of the wealthiest sector of the population in Brazil (that is to say 1.7 million people) receive income that is equivalent to all the wages combined of 50% of the poorest section of the population (86.9 million people). One third of the population is considered to be living in poverty.   

You can also contact the ESSOR coordination in Brasil :

E-mailessor@essorbrasil.org
Tel : 0055 83 32 35 85 74
Address : Rua José Serrano Navarro, 240
                  Castelo Branco III
                  58050-580 João Pessoa

A blog about ESSOR's actions in Brazil is disponible :  www.essornobrasil.blogspot.com

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