Global Snapshots: Brazil - a rich country full of poor people
- By: Lalla McCormack
It's Carnival time in Brazil; a time of year when practical realities such as the country's health policies take a backseat to the sun, samba, and sensationalism of the Mardi Gras festival. The thousands of tourists descending on the country, flocking to the tourist capital, Rio de Janeiro, will embrace the intoxicating hedonism of the spectacle. The few who actually encounter the Brazilian health service will probably do so as a result of excess Caçhaca--an unbeleivably potent rum.
Unfortunately, postcards depicting the Cidade Maravilhosa of Rio are unrecognisable to most of the population. In stark contrast to its opulent carnival, Brazil is plagued by widespread poverty and an extreme divide between rich and poor. Brazil has the 10th largest economy in the world,1 but 30% of its 174 million inhabitants live below the poverty line.2 According to the World Bank, Brazil is a rich country full of poor people.3 This