Hunger in Brazil Part 3
Primary Health Care Program
As a specific policy, it is possible to mention the implementation of the food card and the expansion of school lunches.
The distribution of emergency basic food baskets for specific periods is also one of the specific actions. The baskets are distributed in indigenous and quilombola communities and to agrarian reform campers who live at nutritional risk.
The quality of food, the expansion of the Workers’ Food Program (PAT), the fight against child malnutrition and education for food consumption are part of the list of specific actions implemented.
National Food Bank Program
The National Food Bank Program is based on encouraging and offering support for the implementation of Food Banks in medium and large municipalities. The Program is part of a waste reduction policy and will make it possible to donate food by supermarkets, restaurants and companies in general to associations and charities.
Popular Restaurant Program
The Incentive Program for the Installation of Popular Restaurants aims to create a food protection network in areas of great circulation of workers in the metropolitan areas. The goal is for the worker to have access to a balanced and quality meal at popular prices.
Food Card Program – PCA
The Food Card Program offers low-income families a benefit in the amount of R $ 50.00 for the purchase of basic food in the locality where the family lives. The Program associates the benefit with citizenship guarantee policies, aiming at the socioeconomic emancipation of families, such as:
- Literacy for youth and adults
- Food and nutrition education;
- Health and nutrition;
- Generation of employment and income;
- Programs to cope with drought;
- Quality in housing construction or renovation.
The benefit is transferred primarily to women / mothers through a single magnetic card, along with the other federal government income transfer programs, for families included in the Federal Government’s Single Registry. For this, a review of the current registry is carried out prioritizing the most needy public and the expansion of the registry for families that do not receive any income transfer program, either from the federal government, or from the state and municipal governments.
The causes of chronic hunger and malnutrition in Brazil and in the world are poverty, the inefficient distribution of food together with the precarious agrarian reform and the disproportionate growth of the population in a given state or territory in relation to the livelihood, are essential factors for maintaining hunger.
About 5 to 20 million people die each year from hunger and many of them are children.
The immediate consequences of hunger are weight loss in adults and the appearance of problems in the development of children. Malnutrition, mainly due to the lack of energy foods and proteins, increases in the affected populations and increases the mortality rate, partly due to hunger and also due to the loss of the ability to fight infections.
Changing this situation means changing the life of society, which may not be desirable, as it would contradict the interests and privileges on which the dominant groups are based. It is more comfortable and safer to blame population growth, the laziness of the poor or the adversities of the natural environment as causes of misery and hunger in the Third World.
Brazil is the fifth country in the world in territorial extension, occupying half the area of the South American continent. About 20 years ago, the supply of electricity and the number of paved roads increased, in addition to a huge industrial growth. None of this, however, served to combat poverty, malnutrition and endemic diseases.
In 1987, in Brazil, almost 40% of the population (50 million people) lived in extreme poverty. Today, a third of the population is malnourished, 9% of children die before reaching one year of life and 37% of the total are landless rural workers. There is also the growing problem of the concentration of agricultural production, where a large part remains in the hands of a few people, seeing their assets increase appreciably and gaining great political power.
The production for the foreign market, aiming at the inflow of foreign exchange and the payment of the foreign debt, has been growing, while the diversity of food production directed at the domestic market has decreased, remaining in a secondary position. In addition, millions of people live in slums, on the outskirts of large cities, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Recife, among others. The case of internal migration is a problem generated within the nation itself.
A large part of the slum dwellers left land on their property or places where they planted their agricultural production. In large centers, these people will perform low-paid jobs, often in non-regular work. Almost the whole family works, including the children, often throughout the day, and eats poorly, rarely eating enough to replenish the spent energy. In this vicious circle, more and more families are flocking to the cities starving for not being able to provide for their livelihood.
We recognize that the “Citizen Constitution of 1988 innovates, in its Preamble, when dealing with the eradication of poverty and marginalization”, but, unfortunately, we still have “a long way to go, because governments have done little in the field of social rights. , conforming to a monetarist agenda and placing financial policy above the development of citizenship ”.
“Ensuring food for all, overcoming misery and hunger, requires each of us to engage personally. More than that, it supposes the personal experience of the humble and courageous process of gestation of a new society, which meets the basic rights and needs of the population: education, health, agrarian reform, agricultural policy, demarcation of indigenous lands and remaining lands quilombos, income distribution, tax and tax reform, housing. It also requires that we develop new working and management relationships for the company, creating an economy of communion committed to solidarity and attentive to the demands of sustainability ”.