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Brazil's federal government has kicked off its 750mn-real (US$480mn) national potable water supply program Água para Todos (water for everyone), aimed at achieving universal service in the country, particularly in the northeast.
The program originated in Bahia state but was launched at the federal level on Wednesday (Jul 27), with a decree published in the official gazette Diário Oficial da União, the federal government said in a release.
A launch ceremony was held in Alagoas state's Arapiraca city and led by President Dilma Rousseff, Bahia state governor Jaques Wagner and executives from northeastern states.
Rousseff this week launched the Brasil sem Miséria (Brazil without poverty) program, which aims to eliminate dire poverty by 2014 through improving access to services such as sanitation, healthcare and education.
An estimated 16.2mn Brazilians live in extreme poverty, of which more than half live in the country's northeastern region.