“If I had to choose today I would stay back home, I wouldn’t come to look for work here,” said Josefa Gomes, who 30 years ago moved from Serra Redonda, a small town in Brazil’s semiarid northeast, to the city of Rio de Janeiro, 2,400 km away.
Latin America and the Caribbean, the world’s most unequal region, has made the greatest progress towards improving food security and has become the region with the largest number of countries to have reached the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people.
Every day, Celina Maria de Souza rises before dawn, and after taking four of her children to the nearby school she climbs down the 180 steps that separate her home on a steep hill from the flat part of this Brazilian city, to go to her job as a domestic. In the evening she makes the long trek back up.
As governments struggle to find ways out of the persistent global financial crisis, Brazil’s development model offers an alternative path to recovery and growth, according to some economists and politicians.