|Brazilians get paid to go to school|
|Subject||Government pays parents to keep children in school|
|Topic||Government and the Economy; Poverty and Inequality|
Poverty, Welfare, Work
Brazilian parents who make sure that their children stay in school and get regular medical checkups now qualify for a monthly cash payment from their government. The goal is to ensure that the families are investing in the future of their children, rather than having the children work during the day.
Under the new Family Grant, Brazil's President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva consolidated a number of welfare programs and increased the benefits to $24 a month to parents whose children remain in school. This will help offset the need for the children to work during the day rather than go to school. Brazil is funding the program through savings in its pension program, as well as loans from the World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank. This program will cost approximately US$7 billion through 2006 , and will ultimately reach 45 million people in Brazil.
This program of providing families with incentives for their children
to remain in school has been extremely popular and widely received across
Latin America. In fact, da Silva's predecessor and rival had implemented
the program on a national scale in 2001. Other Latin American countries
have implemented similar programs, and a rigorous study of a similar program
in Mexico showed that children in the program are healthier, better nourished,
and remain in school longer.
(Updated February, 2004)
|Source||Celia W Dugger, "Brazil Pays Parents to Help Poor be Pupils, Not Wage Earners." The New York Times. 3 January 2004.|
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