Brazil's Zero Hunger program The Brazilian minister of Social Development and Hunger Alleviation, Patrus Ananias, will give a lecture at the opening of the Six-Monthly Meeting of the Pilot Group on Friendly Taxation for Financing Development. The president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mohammed Yunus will also talk on the occasion.

    The Brazilian minister will tell about effective measures for fighting hunger and poverty in Brazil, and how the country is facing the international economic crisis and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The meeting, which will also discuss funding for developing countries, starts this Thursday, May 28, in Paris.

    Sponsored by the French government, the event will bring together heads of state and ministers involved in the matter, the highlights being Brazil, France, Spain and Chile – countries that launched the International Action Against Hunger and Poverty.

    Attendance has been confirmed by 40 ministers, representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Commission and organizations linked to the United Nations (UN).

    During the Paris Conference, held in February 2006, a pilot group was formed to discuss innovative modes of financing to help developing countries. Every year, US$ 2 billion, for instance, are turned to the vaccination of over 100 million children, and to pediatric treatment of 100,000 AIDS patients.

    The organizers of the meeting believe that, in times of economic and financial crisis, innovative financing is essential in order to create a security network in developing countries.

    "Starting now, we have a collective mission of making the different financing mechanisms available be put to use by an increasingly larger number of countries," says Bernard Kouchner, minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the French government, in the letter in which he invites the Brazilian minister to the event.

    Niemeyer's Latest Project

    Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed the Arab South-American library, to be built in Algiers, sent a message to the Arab ministers of Culture who were in Rio de Janeiro last week for a meeting with their South American colleagues. According to architect José Carlos Sussekind, who presented the project at the ministerial meeting, Niemeyer said that he considers himself "half Arab". The architect said that he is happy to return to developing a project in Algeria.

    Sussekind recalled that Niemeyer and his brother were received by the Algerian government – where they were refugees during the Brazilian dictatorship. The architect designed several buildings and participated in architectural projects in Algeria, being responsible for Algiers Civic Center, for Algiers Mosque, for the University of Technological Science, the University of Human Science, and Constantine University. All of them were developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Full Billfold

    In the first quarter of 2009, the credit portfolio of Bank of Brazil exceeded 254 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 125 billion), with growth of 41.3% in 12 months and 7.3% when compared to the last quarter of 2008. Of this total, R$ 61.1 billion corresponds to credit to natural people.

    Boosted by investment in the infrastructure sector and by the improvement of the domestic market, the economy of Brazil should grow between 3% and 4% this year. This forecast is by Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) president Luciano Coutinho and was made during his participation Monday night, May 25, in program Roda Viva, on Cultura TV. For this year, the BNDES president forecasts growth of 1%.

    To Coutinho, the domestic market in Brazil was preserved from the crisis. "There have been wage and social security increases. Sales on the retail market are reacting very well, demonstrating great vigor on the domestic market and allowing for greater growth in consumption."

    Overseas Capital

    Central Bank figures show that the stock of Brazilian capital abroad, in 2007, was US$ 155.2 billion, around 12% of the country GDP that year. The figures were collected in the Declaration of Brazilian Capital Abroad (CBE). The volume was declared by 15,289 natural people and companies in the 2007 fiscal year. Companies answered to US$ 123.2 billion and natural people to US$ 32 billion. The number of countries mentioned as receptors of Brazilian capital in the estimate reached 123.

    For this year, the period for Brazilians to show their capital abroad is the 29th. According to the Central Bank, this should be the eighth edition of the CBE and refers to the fiscal year ending on December 31st, 2008.

    The CBE makes it possible for the country to know better and more specifically the volume of funds abroad. This way, the process contributes to the accounting of total assets and liabilities of Brazil and makes possible the calculation of the International Investment Position, an important source of information for the formulation of national economics, as well as being a relative element of evaluation of the Brazil risk.

    Those who must declare are natural people or companies that are resident or based in the country (in the tax legislation context) and who had assets of any kind outside Brazil totaling US$ 100,000 or more in the year ending on December 31st, 2008

    Guide

    The Biotechnology Information Council (CIB) is releasing guide "What you need to know about genetically modified products". With figures used and educational text, the publication brings information about the main questions involving biotechnology in the daily life of the population.

    "For at least 13 years, genetically modified plants have been part of the life of people of the world," said Alda Lerayer, the executive director at CIB. In Brazil, genetically modified soy and corn are already consumed and, soon, other foods should reach our tables. "The guide is the result of our concern in having informed consumers with regard to biotechnological advances," he finished off.

    According to Neuza Brunoro, a researcher at the Nutrition and Health Department of the Federal University of Viçosa, Minas Gerais, science has been developing plants that may contribute to the reduction of nutritional deficiencies, including biotechnology. Anemia and other problems related to the lack of micronutrients, for example, reach around 3 billion people worldwide. "In future, the market should receive bio fortified food, genetically modified to be more nutritious and functional."

    Anba

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