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UN warns Brazil of anti-poverty setback

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-13 10:40

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's anti-poverty fight could suffer a setback due to economic strife, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) warned on Monday.

Maristela Baioni, UNDP's representative in Brazil, told a seminar in Sao Paulo that the organization was "on alert for possible setbacks in Brazil's actions against poverty" in the current economic crisis, the Agencia Brasil news agency reported.

"We've had a reduction in poverty in recent years, but today's crisis might see the return of former poverty levels," Baioni told the seminar.

Philip Alston, UN's Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, issued a much stronger warning on Friday, saying Brazil's proposed austerity measures could "breach human rights."

The Brazilian government's proposal to cap public spending on social programs for the next two decades is "entirely incompatible with the country's human rights obligations" and will "put an entire generation at risk," Alston said in a statement.

Didier Trebucq, UNDP's Brazil country director at, has called on the nation to step up human development programs to prevent "the risk of plunging back into poverty" some 224 million people, or 35 percent of Latin America's population.

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