The number of Brazilians living in extreme poverty grew for the first time in a decade, according to government figures. The Institute of Economic Research reported that the number of people in households with incomes below the poverty threshold of 30 dollars rose from 10.1 to 10.5 million people, which means a 3.7% increase.
The institute said that it was not ready to publish an analysis, but that the numbers are already available on its website. The number had not increased since 2003, when Lula da Silva was voted president for the Workers’ Party.
The current President Dilma Rousseff’s successful re-election campaign was based on defending social programs implemented in the last decade that have helped lift more than 40 million Brazilians out of poverty and into the middle class.
Between 2001 and 2012 Brazil cut extreme poverty from 14% of the population to 3.5%, according to the United Nations State of Food Insecurity report published in September.
Also in September, the Food and Agriculture Organization singled out Brazil an example in reducing hunger. It said that the “Zero Hunger” program in Brazil was instrumental in the country’s fight to reduce the malnutrition rate from 19% to less than 5%.