WB/BRAZIL: One million people to benefit from Economic and Social Inclusion Program in the State of Rio Grande do Norte

June 25, 2013

Project will support actions to improve public sector management, promote sustainable regional development and strengthen reforms in health and education systems

WASHINGTON, June 25th, 2013 – More than one million poor people will benefit from the Rio Grande do Norte: Regional and Governance Project, funded by a US$ 360 million loan approved today by the World Bank Board of Directors. The Project will support the RN State Government, located in the Northeast of Brazil, in poverty reduction and a shared prosperity agenda, combining investments which favor economically inclusive growth, poverty reduction, and broad-based human development.

“"The Sustainable RN is a great legacy to be left  for our state," said Rosalba Ciarlini Rosado,  Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Norte. "This project is important because it will help us reduce very significant differences in the social and economic development of our various regions. We will do it by stimulating the local supply chains and improving investments in essential services such as education, health and security, focusing in the regions in which they are the most deficient.”

Although poverty rates have been falling over the last decade, a third of the State’s population of 3.2 million people still lives below the poverty line. Despite the State’s strong economic growth, 159 of the 167 municipalities in Rio Grande do Norte depend heavily on Federal and State Government funds and transfers.

Furthermore, the State remains characterized by significant regional disparities with several regions consistently lagging behind the rest of the State in terms of employment, income and human development. Moreover, the metropolitan region of Natal, the State’s capital, is marked by pockets of extreme poverty and limited access to services in its periphery.

There is also persistent inequality along gender lines. According to the 2010 Census, 40% of the households in Rio Grande do Norte are headed by women. Women have less access to the labor market as well as to productive assets such as land and credit, particularly in the State’s lagging regions.

“Promoting productive inclusion and gender equality is fundamental to achieving sustainable economic growth in Rio Grande do Norte,” said Deborah L. Wetzel, World Bank Director for Brazil. “This can only become a reality if poor people and vulnerable groups have equal economic opportunities and access to quality health and education services. These are the Project’s core goals.” 

Project activities include: 

  • Modernization of public sector management through the introduction of results-oriented public expenditure and human resources management
  • Promoting productive inclusion through the stimulation of entrepreneurship and initiatives to increase small producers’ access to commercial markets
  • Promoting the adoption of new and environmentally sustainable technologies among small producers
  • Adoption of innovative techniques for the efficient use of scarce water and natural resources
  • Increasing the coverage of public education in the State’s poorest regions
  • Supporting Government actions to reduce maternal and child mortality
  • Increasing public health care coverage, particularly for the treatment of cancer and the provision of emergency care
  • Improving investments in productive infrastructure and logistics
  • Improving economic integration of traditionally marginalized groups such as households headed by single women, indigenous and afro-descendant communities

This single tranche loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Rio Grande do Norte is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a final maturity of 25 years, with a 5 year grace period.