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Message-ID: <199508021504.LAA58936@atlanta.american.edu>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 10:45:29 EDT
Reply-To: Joaquim Moura <poa-bsb@CR-DF.RNP.BR>
Sender: Internationally-Oriented Computer-Assisted Reporting List <INTCAR-L@AMERICAN.EDU>
Subject: Brasil -- effects of neo-liberal economic policies

Effects of neo-liberal economic policies

From Joaquim Moura, Parners of the Americas, 2 August 1995

Dear Friends,

The World Bank report issued last Friday confirmed what everybody here already suspected: Brazil presents the worst social balance among all the planet's countries. Stemmed from the biggest slavery system of modern times (ten times more slaves than in the US history), and ruled by a military dictatorship in the last three decades, and lately ran by neoliberal thesis, the social gap grows every day.

According to the WB report, the richest 10% parcel of the population holds more than 50% of the national wealth; and the poorest 50% parcel holds only 15% of it. Last week, also the IBGE (Geography and Statistical Brazilian Institute, a federal government foundation) informed that 63% of the children less than 10 years old live in families where the revenue is under US$ 200 per month. And 40% of them live in families earning less than US$ 100 monthly.

Yesterday, another institution - Fundacao Getulio Vargas (a para- governmental federal economic research center) - informed that the Brazilian banks (following the federal government economic neoliberal policies) charge the HIGHEST interest rates in the world.

We could even mention other statistical reports but we prefer to invite you again to work with us to change this reality. As we stated before, if Brazil - by its complex cultural and environmental situation - offers the hardest defies, by the other side if we succeed here we will be ensuring the future's viability and making easier the whole world socio-ecological transformation. Just look at the globe. Brazil is that huge spot in the tropical/southern area, where 20% of all planet's fresh water is always being recycled among the largest and most diversified vegetation scenery.

We are always reading here about many interesting NGOs, research centers, academic institutions and governmental agencies working on development issues in many, many countries. Some of them, for sure, are working in Brazil. But we are inviting you to work here in a new way, the fittest to produce the huge transformations we need here (maybe you also need them there, too). The two main characteristics of this new developing way will be: (1) a never seen coalition gathering CBOs, national and international NGOs, institutions and agencies to plan and work together, making the fullest use possible of Internet resources, (2) a strategical conception for our integrated work (not just in Brazil but globally), aiming to accomplish important, fundamental and decisive transformations in the economical, environmental, cultural world scene in the next years (before most of us die, should be our dead line). To assure the feasibility of the next generations is up to us and depends on new attitudes we need to be able to adopt, spread and foster. Internet is here to allow this transformation.

We also have read some messages about Internet's impact on country and community development. Those reading this list know how we, from Brasilia, are trying to bring a new dimension for the list, by opening an opportunity window to discuss and work together in the most complex social scene ever, and to help us in a very practical way (thank you).

Every reader knows about, for example, the questionnaire on community banking we have delivered by email to this list (we still hope we will receive/broadcast some feedback on this issue). Or about the Open School on Alternative Technologies we settled at the Open House of the Street Children of Brasilia - the next course, August 25/26/27, will be on Ecological/Community Agriculture, and we will be one of the main resources for the community gardens we have been helping to grow, since 1976. And please, don't forget the community/leadership development local /international network (a BBS and a home page) we are setting up here - CidadaNet. All this is quite time consuming, but we don't give up.

Coming back to World Bank, we want to mention a very important and charming book edited by that institution: Working with NGOs. (Thanks a lot, Patricia). It describes how WB got increasingly involved with NGOS (in 1973/1988, 6% of its projects involved NGOs; in 93, 33%; in 94, 50%; and the rate is still growing up. Also describes its criteria, case- studies etc. This book is a tool and a promise for better times in the Earth's future. Of course each country, each community needs and deserves all our common effort. But we suggest Brazil as a special pilot plot for this holistic-integrated action just because of its ecological importance, social complexity and cultural diversity.

Thanks for your consideration. Please, write us back your suggestions.