(L to R) The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies President Henrique Eduardo Alves, Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer, President Dilma Roussef and the Brazilian Senate President Renan Calheiros participate during the ceremony to announce the new measures of Brazil Without Poverty Plan in the Palace of Planalto in the city of Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on Feb. 19, 2013. (Xinhua/ED Ferreira/AGENCIA ESTADO)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced a plan Tuesday to increase government support to those living in extreme poverty.
The government will raise monthly stipends for families living below the poverty line, bringing their per capita monthly income to over 70 reals (35.7 U.S. dollars).
The plan, which will cost the government 773 million reals (394.4 million U.S. dollars) in 2013, is part of Rousseff's "Brazil without Poverty" initiative, aiming at eradicating extreme poverty in Brazil and fulfilling one of the president's campaign promises.
The government expects to pull 22 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty by implementing the plan.
Calling on state and local governments to help identify those Brazilians in need of the grant, Rousseff acknowledged more needs to be done to eradicate extreme poverty, but she said "it will not be long until there are no Brazilians drowning in poverty."
Rousseff praised Tuesday her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who expanded the monthly stipend program in 2003. She said Lula was the first president who had brought social issues to the heart of the government.