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Bolsa Familia

Inequality and poverty have been major problems in Brazil for centuries as a result of noninclusive growth periods and ineffective social policies. After a range of short-run and nonsystematic measures, the Brazilian government understood that human development and capacity building would be the best ways to produce a permanent cycle of sustainable growth benefiting the entire population, thereby eliminating poverty and inequality in the long run. To this end, in 2003, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva introduced the pioneering conditional cash transfer program Bolsa Família, which promoted and integrated existing scattered social protection initiatives of the national programs associated with education (Bolsa Escola), food (Cartão Alimentação), and health (Bolsa Alimentação), and an income-transfer program for purchasing gas for cooking (Auxílio-Gás).

Bolsa Família is an innovative ...

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