Society

Coronavirus aid sees Brazil’s poverty rates drop to lowest level since 2004

The monthly Covid-19 aid payment has cut extreme poverty by more than half, but experts warn that this is a temporary improvement

Coronavirus aid sees Brazil poverty rates drop to lowest level since 2004
Homeless person in Goiânia, Goiás. Photo: Angela Macario/Shutterstock

Despite significant improvement in the 2000s, levels of extreme poverty shot up during Brazil’s economic crisis of 2015 and 2016. Now, according to a study carried out by think-tank Fundação Getúlio Vargas, the number of severely impoverished people in the country has fallen to its lowest level in at least 16 years, thanks to the emergency aid program implemented by the Jair Bolsonaro government to soften the immediate financial blow of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The level of extreme poverty — understood as families living on less than USD 1.90 per day — fell to 3.3 percent of the...

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