The Ministry of Citizenship cut 158,452 beneficiaries of the Bolsa Família program in the midst of the crisis generated by COVID-19.
The number of beneficiaries is the lowest in the Jair Bolsonaro government and the lowest since May 2017, when Bolsa Família had the largest cut in the program's history.
The region most affected by the new cuts is the Northeast. Of the 158,400 fewer benefits in March, 61.1% of the total was withdrawn from the region.
In an interview with Sputnik Brasil, Cícero Péricles de Carvalho, who researches the Bolsa Família program, a professor at the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), said that the measure taken by the Jair Bolsonaro government goes against what has been done in most countries.
"(It goes) against all positions, from all countries, industrialized and non-industrialized, without exception, that are having compensation policies. The clearest example would be the United States itself that has taken these positions," he explained.
According to Cícero Péricles de Carvalho, because we are in a pandemic moment, the Bolsa Família program should be doubled.
"We achieved an unprecedented feat, cutting a program to combat poverty, the only instrument we have, (…) is the moment to double the Bolsa Família, meet all the demands that exist in all States. This population is the most fragile, no doubt ", he said.
Cícero Péricles de Carvalho points out that Bolsa Família would be an instrument of social strengthening.
"In the social sense, this population has to eat, eat every day, it has to have the basics. In the economic plan, this population consumes, then in an economic crisis as it is and in a social crisis, amplified by the coronavirus, evidently that it would be a powerful instrument for strengthening the social fabric of the poorest strata ", he commented.
According to the expert, this is due to the fact that the Bolsa Família benefit has a direct impact on the service sector, one of the most affected by the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
"The relationship of the Bolsa Família citizen is basically with neighborhood, street, and neighborhood trade, with trade in the service sector. All this money that is received goes to the service and trade sector network on the outskirts of the big cities. cities and the poorest regions of Brazil ", he added.
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