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World Cup 2014: Progress Against Poverty in Brazil, Columbia

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Bread for the World's World Cup series will use the occasion of the Cup to focus on the great advances many of the participating countries and players have made in fighting hunger and poverty. Each day, until the end of the tournament, we will highlight a country, or an individual player, that is making a difference.

By Bianca Brown

Saturday, June 28: Brazil v. Chile; Colombia v. Uruguay

After several exciting matches, and a day of rest, today Brazil will play Chile, and Columbia will play Uruguay. All of the teams are preparing for the highly anticipated matches, eager to claim victory in the prestigious tournament. In Brazil—the host country for this year’s World Cup—fans are waiting to see how the games will impact the nation’s staggering poverty levels.

As of 2007, the population living in poverty in Brazil totaled to 23 percent. We’ve previously written about the World Cup protests taking place in Brazil—many Brazilians believe the money the country has spent on the event would be better spent on health, education, and infrastructure. Still, before the Cup controversy, Brazil had made significant progress against hunger and poverty, through the Zero Hunger Initiative and other similar programs.

Similar progress toward eliminating hunger and poverty has been made in Columbia. "There is not only significant poverty, but some of the poverty is stunning in its extreme…it really is at the root of so much of the unrest that occurs," Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) told the Washington Post. The congressman has traveled extensively in Columbia since 2001. While 32.7 percent of the population experiences poverty, levels are decreasing, due to development assistance and a new poverty-reduction strategy adopted in 2011. The needs of the country’s impoverished citizens are reflected in its National Development Plan, which is dedicated to reducing poverty, eliminating hunger, and offering stable employment to those living in rural areas.

 Bianca Brown is an intern in Bread for the World's communications department and a senior at Georgia's Wesleyan College.

 

« Quote of the Day: Rev. Gabriel Salguero World Cup 2014: "If it’s about doing something for the kids of my country, I am in." »

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