Government Still Has US$15 billion to Spend on Pandemic; Spending at The Peak of The Crisis Is Slow

Federal government has yet to properly organize its health resources


Of the R$605.7 billion (US$ 112 billion) released by the government in the 2020 Budget to combat Covid-19, R$80 billion (US$ 15 billion) still has not been used. Of this, R$37.5 billion (US$ 7 billion) has been authorized for the current year, but 90% remains unused.

This is happening as the pandemic reaches its worst moment in the country, with a record number of cases.

The largest part, R$25.5 billion (US$ 4.7 billion), is reserved for the Ministry of Health to purchase vaccines. But as of February, only R$1.2 billion (US$ 222 million) had been used.

In emergency aid, there is R$2 billion (US$ 371 million) reserved for 2021. Another benefit, paid to those who have reduced working hours and wages, allots R$8 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) and only R$400 thousand (US$ 71 thousand) has been spent.

Experts say the over-dimensioning of programs has guaranteed full service to beneficiaries, but it has also made this year’s funds unusable according to budget rules.

Now, they warn of the fact that the Executive has no more margin for stopgap measures given the current public debt.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language