The Federative Republic of Brazil has a powerful, rising economy, forming part of the informal Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) alliance. Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) has risen fairly steadily over the last decade, and Brazil regularly has a positive trade balance. Yet, poverty rates in Brazil are almost three times higher than in countries with a similar per capita income, and Brazil regularly earns a rating higher than 50 on the Gini Index (with zero being absolutely equal, and 100 perfectly unequal). Access to resources in Brazil is greatly uneven and economic and social disparities differ according to region. In the northeast, a history of drought, poor distribution of land, and subsequent migration have led to reduced access to improved sanitation and water in the backlands, and ...

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