Society

Bolsa Família grinds to a halt under Jair Bolsonaro

Since June, Brazil's famous welfare program Bolsa Família has essentially been frozen, and millions of needy families are forming a queue

Bolsa Família grinds to a halt under Jair Bolsonaro
Photo: Daniel Wiedemann/Shutterstock

During the 2018 election campaign, rumors spread on social media claiming that if he were made president, Jair Bolsonaro intended to scrap Bolsa Família—Brazil’s world-renowned welfare cash-transfer program. This is a standard tactic from the left, but the chance of the initiative being canceled is always remote: Bolsa Família is popular, it works, and it is cheap.

However, after one year of Jair Bolsonaro in office, Bolsa Família is going through its most uncertain period since its creation in 2004. Budgetary constraints have seen new claimants left on a waiting list that now includes over 1.5 million families....

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