News / Americas

Experts Divided on Socio-Economic Benefits of World Cup

Experts Divided on Socio-Economic Benefits of World Cupi
X
July 02, 2014 4:26 AM
The Brazilian government says it has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure, security and social enhancements as part of the preparations for the football World Cup. While the government says these investments will have long-term benefits for society, independent analysts say the impact is mixed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Rio de Janeiro.
Scott Bobb

The Brazilian government says it has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure, security and social enhancements as part of the preparations for the World Cup. While the government says these investments will have long-term benefits for society, independent analysts say the impact is mixed.

Urban planners say the $11 billion spent on stadiums and infrastructure has provided jobs to some poor Brazilians, but the public works have also driven up housing costs and forced the least wealthy residents further away from jobs and services.

Particularly controversial has been the so-called pacification program in informal communities, or favelas. Special police, called UPP’s (Police Pacification Units), have been deployed in dozens of favelas to drive out drug traffickers and other criminals.

The results have been mixed, according to Urbanism Professor Chris Gaffney, from the local Fluminense Federal University.

“One benefit is we have seen a dramatic decrease in mortality rates through gunfire, because the police no longer come in and open fire randomly in these pacified communities.  We have also seen an increase in petty crimes, rapes and burglaries,” said Gaffney.

Gaffney said traffickers belonged to these communities and imposed their own kind of instant justice, whereas the police are viewed with suspicion. He said the gangsters have just moved their operations to other favelas.

Nevertheless, the program has brought some order to previously lawless neighborhoods.

“These places were closed in many respects to the formal market.  So 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, whether it is tourism or state-sponsored projects or formalized businesses to come in in the form of banks,” explained Gaffney.

The investment in social programs by the World Cup organizing body, FIFA, is another positive development, said Sports Management professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti of George Washington University. 

“There has been a lot of educational programs, teaching young people about the environment, using football to educate them about other issues in terms of, like, AIDS, and getting them to come and go to school,” said Neirotti.

She added that under FIFA pressure, the government has adopted some pro-environmental measures such as recycling waste at the stadiums and ensuring the structures meet the guidelines of the LEEDS energy and environmental design program.

“The biggest challenge is the legacy, will these programs continue?  Will people remember to recycle?” asked Neirotti.

The Brazilian government says billions of dollars will be added to the economy because of the World Cup, but many Brazilians believe the money will go to only a few.

Critics note several European cities have rejected proposals to host such mega-events.  They believe the model needs to be re-examined if host nations are to avoid public protests like those that have accompanied the Brazil World Cup.

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More

US Judge Orders Argentina, Creditors to Reach Deal

Lawyers for investors who declined to restructure bonds after country defaulted on about $100B in 2002 warned that time running out to reach a deal, avert fresh default
More

Trial Imminent for Detained Venezuelan Protest Leader Lopez

Lopez's wife, Lilian Tintori, says outside pressure needed on Venezuelan president to move case forward
More

Sex Workers Seek HIV Prevention

The Lancet publishes new series on HIV
More

Texas Gov. Perry Orders State National Guard to Border

Governor says he took extraordinary measure to help secure the border, his critics say it is a political stunt
More

Cuba Hopes for More Investment as Chinese President Arrives

Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a two-day visit to Cuba on Monday evening
More