End of Emergency Assistance may leave 391,000 without income in

Emergency Relief, created last year to help vulnerable families during the covid-19 pandemic, comes to an end in October and will no longer be extended. With this, thousands of beneficiaries in the Federal District will be without the income offered by the federal government.

In the country’s capital, the number of people covered in 2021 with at least a portion of Emergency Aid was 482,344, according to official data from the Ministry of Citizenship. Most of them receive amounts ranging between R$250 and R$375 per month. Of this public, 90,981 families are enrolled in the Bolsa Família program and will continue to receive the benefit, albeit smaller, as of November. As a result, 391,363 others, who are not enrolled in any other federal program, will automatically stop receiving benefits.

New Family Grant

In December, the federal government promised to initiate payments for a new program to replace Bolsa Família, called Auxílio Brasil. According to President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) the benefit would be at least R$400 per family and would be paid to more beneficiaries, going from the current 14.6 million covered by Bolsa Família to 17 million.

For specialists, however, Auxílio Brasil will already start out of date and will not be able to meet the new poor of the pandemic. “This number of beneficiaries [17 milhões] equivalent to the total number of people assisted today at Bolsa Família plus the waiting list we had before the pandemic. All the people who lost their jobs and income or who lost those who supported the house are not being considered”, said the director of Institutional Relations of the Brazilian Basic Income Network, Paola Carvalho, to the Bem Viver Program, in Brasil de Fato.

The number of new applicants in the states and the Federal District will only be announced next month by the Ministry of Citizenship. To access Auxílio Brasil, future beneficiaries will need to be registered in the Federal Government’s Single Registry of Social Programs, the CadÚnico.

In the DF, 182,753 families are currently registered, according to the folder. As most of them are already enrolled in social programs, such as Bolsa Família, the increase in the number of beneficiaries of Aid Brazil will not include the total number of people who will no longer receive Emergency Aid.

:: Distrito da Fome: inflation and poverty threaten food sovereignty for Brazilian families ::

Economic crisis

The end of social programs comes at a time of soaring inflation and increasing poverty. Brasília registers one of the biggest increases in the basic food basket among the country’s capitals. From September 2020 to September 2021, in the accumulated 12-month period, the increase in food prices in the federal capital totaled 38.56%, the highest value among 17 capitals surveyed by the Inter-Union Department of Studies and Statistics (Dieese).

Currently, the average value of the food basket in the country’s capital is R$ 617.65, the seventh highest among the capitals surveyed.

:: Dieese: increase in the basic food basket in Brasília was the highest in the country in September ::

The percentage of families in Brasília living in poverty and extreme poverty has increased exponentially, registering the worst performance among all the capitals in the country, according to a recent study by the Brazilian Institute of Economics of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (Ibre/FGV).

GDF Programs

Complementarily, the Federal District Government (GDF) maintains two social programs aimed at low-income families, especially those already enrolled in Bolsa Família: the DF Sem Miséria and the Prato Cheio Card.

The DF Sem Miséria program serves at least 73,659 families, of the 90.9 thousand that receive the Bolsa Família, according to August data from the Social Development Secretariat (Sedes). The program was created precisely to complete the federal benefit due to the high cost of living in the country’s capital.

The Prato Cheio Card is a monthly credit of R$250 made available to 37,790 people, also according to data from payments made in August, for the purchase of food in local stores. The benefit is valid for six months.

People with a family income equal to or less than half the minimum wage per family member, who are in a situation of food insecurity and who live in the Federal District, registered in the Cadastro Único or in the Integrated Development System of Headquarters, are entitled to the Prato Cheio Card.

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Source: Federal District BdF

Edition: Flávia Quirino and Sarah Fernandes

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