Cash Transfer Programmes in Brazil: The New Bolsa Família and Its Predecessors

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil has been facing several significant changes affecting its main cash transfer program, Bolsa Família (PBF, by its acronym in Portuguese). During the most acute phase of the pandemic, the Bolsa Família program () temporarily interrupted the majority of its benefits payment. The reason for this interruption was that PBF beneficiaries began to receive a higher amount offered by the Emergency Aid Program (AE, by its acronym in Portuguese) (Arruda, Barbosa, et al. 2021). As the pandemic started to recede, the AE program was discontinued, and the PBF was replaced by the cash transfer program Brazil Aid (AB, by its acronym in Portuguese). Based on the AE’s more generous benefit amount, the AB was a less equitable program due to the fact that it operated under a fixed-benefit structure.