GENEVA--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The International Social Security Association has announced that the Government of Brazil has won its first “Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Security” for the pioneering Bolsa Família poverty-reduction programme.
“Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Security”
Launched in 2003 by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Bolsa Família is a conditional cash transfer programme that today reaches an estimated 50 million poor Brazilians, by supplementing their income. The scheme provides money to a family on the condition that the children attend school regularly and have been vaccinated. Cash transfers are made directly to female heads of household via a payment card, empowering them to make decisions about family education and health, which benefits child welfare.
Bolsa Família is the largest scheme of its kind in the world and is estimated to cost only around 0.5 per cent of Brazilian GDP. The programme aims to break the cycle of social dependency, and by linking cash transfers to school attendance, has improved results. The scheme has helped increase equality in Brazil, and since 2003 has lifted an estimated 36 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty, including 22 million people in the past two years, since the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff started her tenure.
In a message to the ISSA, President Rousseff stated that “Brazil accepts with great honour the ISSA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Security. This is an important recognition of the effort made by the Brazilian Government to improve social protection in the country. Bolsa Família guarantees that 36 million Brazilians can live above the extreme poverty line, keeps 16 million children and adolescents in school, and has been a decisive tool to reduce child mortality. Brazil has millions of reasons to be proud of Bolsa Família, a programme that reduces inequalities and benefits all Brazilians.”
Announcing the Award, the ISSA President Errol Frank Stoové said, “The Award recognizes the unique success of Bolsa Família, which has helped alleviate poverty amongst the poorest families in Brazil and has boosted education and health for their children. It has demonstrated that conditional cash transfer programmes can be highly effective forms of social security. It is our hope the ISSA Award will encourage more governments to take note of the Brazilian experience and consider adopting similar programmes to the benefit of their citizens.”
The ISSA Award will be presented to a high-level representative of the Government of Brazil at the World Social Security Forum, taking place in Doha, Qatar, from 10-15 November 2013. The Forum will be attended by the ISSA leadership, representatives of the Qatari authorities and more than 1,000 social security policy-makers and senior administrators from 150 countries.
About the ISSA
The Geneva-based International Social Security Association is the principal international organization working to promote and develop social security worldwide. The ISSA provides knowledge, professional standards and expert networks to strengthen the administrative capacity of member institutions. Founded in 1927, the ISSA today has more than 330 members in 157 countries.
The ISSA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Security will be attributed every three years by the ISSA Officers to an institution or programme that has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and development of social security, at the national or international level.