Approximately 7.2 million people in Brazil went hungry last year and 54 million, or nearly a quarter of the country’s population, experienced food insecurity, despite advances in the fight against poverty. Food insecurity is defined as being unable to afford certain categories of food or having a well-founded concern about where the next meal will come from.
This information comes a report by IBGE, the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics. However, there was good news as well in the report from IBGE. The report also stated that the number of Brazilians facing a serious lack of food decreased 35.7 percent in the past four years.
Equally encouraging is the number of people exposed to food insecurity decreased from 66.2 million in 2009 to 54 million. IBGE’s report on food security, based on a broad household survey, showed that the proportion of households facing some food insecurity fell from 34.8 percent in 2004 to 22.6 percent in 2013.
According to IBGE, 77.4 percent of Brazil’s 65.3 million households in the country experienced food security last year. That translates to 149.4 million people, or 72.2 percent of the population. The number of Brazilians with secure access to food increased by 21.7 million between 2009 and last year.
Food insecurity was worst in the poor northeastern region of the country, where 38.1 percent of households did not have steady access to food, compared with 14.5 percent in the more prosperous Southeast.
Additionally, another study from the government shows that in the past two years, since 2012, poverty has begun to rise again. This study, prepared jointly by IBGE and IPEA, the Institute of Economics, says the number of Brazilian living under the poverty line has increased.
This joint study says the poverty rate decreased between 2003 and 2012. But since then, the number of people living in extreme poverty (known in Brazil as the “miserable poor”) has risen by 3.7 percent, which is equal to 11 million people.
The new data runs contrary to the official indexes claiming that the government’s social programs were reducing poverty each year. However, it is true that from 2003 to 2012 there was a fall of 61 percent in the number of people living below the line of poverty, thus improving the lives of approximately 26 million Brazilians.
In Brazil, the calculation of those living in poverty is defined by a family income of R$77 reais per month for each person, the equivalent to about 30 dollars.
[This article comes from the Press TV and Latin American Herald Tribune websites and was edited by CIE.]