17 July, 2014
From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.
The Brazilian government says it invested billions of dollars to prepare for the 2014 World Cup. The money has been spent on infrastructure like roads and stadiums for World Cup events. It also has paid for security and social projects. The government says these investments will result in long-term gains for Brazil, but independent experts say effects of the spending are mixed.
Urban planners say the $11 billion spent on stadiums and infrastructure has created jobs for poor Brazilians, but they say this development has a price. The public works have driven up the cost of housing. This, say some experts, has push poor people further away from jobs and public services.
Some people are questioning the value of Police Pacification Units, called the UPP in Portuguese. Officials have sent the special police forces to drive out drug traffickers and other criminals. But the results have been mixed, says Chris Gaffney. He teaches at Fluminense University in Rio de Janeiro.
Professor Gaffney says the drug traffickers just move their operations to other favelas. But he adds that the UPP have brought some order to once lawless neighborhoods.
"These places were closed in many respects to the formal market. But the UPP goes in [to the favela] and it removes the barrier of the drug traffickers and allows all kinds of market forces to flow through it," explained Gaffney.
He says these forces have opened some areas to tourism or state-support projects or businesses. The organizing body of the World Cup, FIFA, also invested in social programs.
Lisa Delpy Neirotti is with Georgetown University in Washington D.C. She says the investments have led to programs for educating young people about the environment, the disease AIDS, or the importance of staying in school. She says FIFA pressure the Brazilian government to accept some pro-environmental measures like treating and reusing waster at stadiums.
FIFA also wanted the structures built for the World Cup to meet the guidelines of LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The U.S. Green Building Council set up the LEED Certification Program to recognize best in class building policies.
Brazil's government says the World Cup will add billions of dollars to the economy, but many Brazilians believe the money will go to only a few people.
Critics note some cities in Europe have rejected proposals to hold huge sporting events. They say a new models is needed if nations organizing such activities are to avoid protests like those earlier in Brazil.
And that's the Economics Report. I'm Mario Ritter.