Brazil has been observing a downward trend in its poverty rate since the 1980s, however, COVID-19’s impact on Brazil has placed these years of poverty reduction at severe risk. Luckily, funding and donations from the government and outside sources such as the United States have helped to combat the sudden rise of poverty. Here is an examination of COVID-19’s impact on Brazil.
Brazil During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Prior to the pandemic, Brazil had reached an all-time low in regard to its poverty rate. For example, by early 2020, 13.9% of Brazilians were making less than $5.50 per day, a stark contrast to 20.6% in 2019. This was a major improvement in Brazil, however, unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed Brazil to unprecedented health, social and economic challenges.
Brazil currently has the third most COVID-19 cases out of any other country at 32.9 million as well as the second highest number of COVID-19-related deaths at 674,000. The pandemic has impacted poverty-stricken areas significantly more than anywhere else, an issue that Brazil has been attempting to resolve.
The Brazilian Government’s Fiscal Package
In 2020, the Brazilian government put together a fiscal package of around $157 billion in an attempt to relieve the pandemic’s adverse impact on Brazil. This large fiscal package aimed to provide support to citizens under the poverty line, as well as all levels of the health care system and firms on the brink of major layoffs.
The main goal of the package was to provide easy access to both covid tests and vaccines for any Brazilian citizen. This allowed for the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to be less fatal and more contained, making the package an overall success.
US Efforts to Help Brazil
The United States has also put forth multiple aid efforts to support Brazil. Through multiple initiatives, the U.S. has provided approximately $75 million in relief efforts through donations of food, health equipment, individual protection and hygiene products.
How Companies Aided Brazil
Multiple U.S. companies also started initiatives to help with the impacts of the pandemic. Companies such as Accenture, Amgen, Burger King, Cargill, Chevron, General Motors and many more have gone above and beyond to combat the impact of COVID-19.
Companies such as Accenture, Burger King and Chevron have been providing support the Brazilian health care system. Accenture donated more than $13 million to the health care system in Brazil. Additionally, Burger King launched an initiative in 2020 for a percentage of each burger that it sold in March of that year to go toward the Brazilian health care system. It raised an estimated $1 million. Meanwhile, Chevron donated $1 million to aid with the construction of a hospital in the Gávea district in Rio de Janeiro.
Other companies such as Amgen, Cargill and General Motors helped to support Brazilian communities in various ways. Amgen donated $100,000 to aid vulnerable communities in Brazil. Meanwhile, Cargill donated $2 million to Brazil and additionally started a fund for food and other basic needs that accumulated to $400,000. General Motors (GM) also made a significant impact on COVID-19 in Brazil by donating $11 million to Brazil in aid.
The many companies around the world aiding Brazil take pressure off the Brazilian government and economy, allowing for a quicker recovery of the country. These relief efforts have created positive impacts across Brazil, yet there is still much more that needs to occur.
Sustained recovery is the goal of the Brazilian government. The future of Brazil will continue to depend on private sector-led investments and additional government reforms.
– Matthew Krysler