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PRESS RELEASEMarch 28, 2024

World Bank to invest in social protection, education, and environment in the state of Pará, Brazil

New project will benefit 550,000 people in 144 municipalities of the Legal Amazon

WASHINGTON, MARCH 28th, 2024 – A new muti-sectoral investment in the state of Pará, Northern Brazil, was approved today by the World Bank Board of Directors, targeting reforms in social programs, education, and environment protection to help Pará reach its development goals.

The US$280 million Sustainable Human Development Project in the State of Pará will help the State improve social services and food security, enhance learning, and promote forest conservation in a region where livelihoods depend directly on natural resources. About 550,000 people in 144 municipalities are expected to benefit directly from these activities.

On the social programs front, the project will help develop a management system at the state level to monitor and promote food security and support the cash transfer program, Renda Marajó, as well as productive inclusion programs targeting the most vulnerable.

On education, the project will help to expand Alfabetiza Pará, an early literacy program; to implement learning acceleration policies in secondary education, including on environmental education; and to support the construction and renovation of schools. It will also provide training for microentrepreneurs, particularly those engaged in forest preservation.

To help Pará make progress on the environmental front, the project will support Bolsa Floresta, a new cash transfer program that will benefit 12,000 families living in state collective territories, like protected areas, agro-ecological land reform settlements, and traditional communities such as quilombolas (descendants of formerly enslaved people). It will also promote digital connectivity to help communities to access the internet, bolster bioeconomy businesses in rural areas, and modernize the systems to fight deforestation on the ground. In addition, it will fund activities related to COP30, which will take place in Belém in November 2025, to help local communities engage with the event.

Throughout the activities of the project, special attention will be given to supporting Marajó, which is one of the most economically and socially fragile areas of the Legal Amazon.

Pará is the second largest state in Brazil, covering 30 percent of Brazil’s Legal Amazon. With a population of 8.1 million, the state has the fourth lowest human development index in Brazil. It is also a multicultural state, with the third largest indigenous population and the fourth largest number of quilombolas.

In Marajó, approximately 2 out of 3 citizens live in poverty, reflecting a lack of economic inclusion. In 2021, only 8.1 percent of 18–65 year-olds in Marajó had a formal job. As many as 30 percent of all households also experience hunger, while food insecurity affects 90 percent of the poorest families.

Reducing deforestation is a political priority for Pará. Around 50,000 km2 of forest have been lost in the state in the past 10 years, more than any other state in the Amazon.

“We are deeply grateful and excited about the World Bank's approval of a $280 million investment for the Avança Pará Program, a transformative initiative that will directly benefit 550,000 people across the 144 municipalities of the state. This multisectoral project will not only strengthen our social programs, expanding access to quality education and food security, but will also reinforce our commitment to environmental protection and sustainability in one of the planet's most vital regions. It is a significant step towards sustainable human development that respects and preserves the rich cultural and natural diversity, fostering a more inclusive and resilient economy throughout Pará,” said Pará governor Helder Barbalho.

“By increasing productivity, reducing vulnerabilities, and enhancing the returns of forest conservation, this project will help put Pará on a more sustainable development trajectory,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Brazil.







The World Bank in Brazil


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