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History

Since 1961, USAID has been a partner to the Brazilian people. Health, education, food security, sanitation, rights of children and adolescents, human trafficking, energy, and environment are some of the areas where USAID has contributed with Brazilian government and non-governmental organizations to build solutions and promote sustainable development.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the greatest contribution of USAID to Brazil was helping to strengthen national institutions. The Agency focused on collaborating with the Brazilian government to build sound institutions with the required tools to deal with complex problems, such as economic instability and social inequality. Under this strategy, USAID supported some of the most important public universities in Brazil, assisted in building transport and electric infrastructure, and helped consolidate the country’s public administration.

One of the most significant institutions that received support from USAID in this period was Embrapa, the Brazilian Company for Agricultural Research. Created in 1972 to combat a food crisis in Brazil, Embrapa received assistance from USAID during its first years of operation. This support included investments in the formation of human and physical capital, allowing it to build laboratories and research centers. Today, thanks to Embrapa, Brazil is one of the world’s largest agricultural producers.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, USAID’s focus changed in Brazil. The Agency started addressing international challenges, like climate change impacts, HIV/AIDS, and human trafficking. USAID helped to strengthen a network of civil society organization to ensure the rights of children and adolescents and to structure a governmental program to combat the illegal sale of human beings. USAID was one of the major supporters of Brazilian non-governmental organizations work on HIV/AIDS in partnership with the Brazilian government, in what is now considered a model of successful programming to tackle the health epidemic.

Currently, USAID supports initiatives in two areas: environment and strategic partnerships. While we continue to support the development of Brazil, USAID now partners with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency through trilateral cooperation to share development experiences with other countries in order to promote sustainable development.

Last updated: January 08, 2014

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