Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said that an additional 700,000 families have been covered under the country's social welfare program over the last 12 months.
By the end of last year, nearly 13 million families were receiving federal aid as part of Rousseff's Brazil Without Poverty program, one of the largest welfare schemes in the world.
AdvertisementBut authorities found hundreds of thousands of additional families living in extreme poverty in cities, forests and semi-arid zones.
"These people who were not receiving any federal aid have now been identified and are receiving" cash aid of $35 a month for each member of the family, Rousseff noted.
In exchange for the aid, the families must send their children to school and and ensure they get regular medical checkups.
Brazil Without Poverty aims to serve 16.2 million people living in extreme poverty, with income transfers, access to public services in education, healthcare, social assistance, sanitation, electrical energy, and productive inclusion.
The program expands the Bolsa Familia (Family Allowance) scheme initiated by Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Brazil, home to 191 million people, managed to pull 30 million people out of poverty during Lula's eight-year rule.
Last year, the federal government invested nearly $12 billion, or 0.5 percent of of the country's GDP, in the effort to eradicating extreme poverty by 2015.
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