Developing with the drought. Poverty in the Northeast of Brazil

Demichelis, Estefania
Crothers, Charles
Opara, Oksana
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Master of Arts in Policy Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

Brazil faces severe structural differences in the economy, society and culture in its territory. The Northeast of Brazil, and specifically the semi-arid, is known for its poverty and for the severe droughts that occur in the region. This dissertation is focussed on the critical analysis of poverty in a typical municipality of the Northeast, Quijingue, mostly rural and underdeveloped. It explores the factors that lock up people in poverty: the climate, isolation, culture, society and education.

Key findings highlight the urgent need for policies related to infrastructure, education and work. The necessity for investment in infrastructure to improve the allocation of natural resources to be better prepare for droughts. The access to education has been ameliorated; conversely, the curricula is not competitive enough. Furthermore, the indifference of politicians and the landowners’ abuses contribute to sustain poverty and unequal living conditions. During the last two decades the Government of Brazil has taken action to reduce poverty. At an international level, Brazil implemented the Millennium Development Goals. Despite the good initiative and effort, there is still lack of measurement in municipalities to correctly understand the situation of the needy in rural areas. At a national level, Brazil is committed to reducing poverty through the execution of public policies such as Bolsa Familia, Projovem and Un Milhão de Cisternas. Notwithstanding the positive outcomes that the latter signify, there is still a wealth of improvements in many areas, through more effective public policies that will make a qualitative difference.

Quijingue , Northeast , Poverty , Development , Semi-arid , Drought
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