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Rousseff Expands Brazil Welfare Benefits to Target Child Poverty

Brazil will increase benefits for the Bolsa Familia social welfare program by boosting payments to families with young children and expanding access to day care and health care, President Dilma Rousseff said in a radio and television address yesterday.

Each family below a certain income level will receive a minimum stipend from the government of 70 reais ($35) per month for each child aged 0 to 6, Rousseff said in a Mother Day’s speech broadcast yesterday evening.

The government will also increase access to day care and fight anemia, vitamin A deficiency and asthma by expanding health insurance, she said.

The Bolsa Familia program today reaches about 13.4 million families who receive benefits of 32 reais to 306 reais per month, depending on their monthly income and number of children up to age 17. Last year, the Rousseff government spent 17.3 billion reais on the program.

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