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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
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 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.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

Human, drug traffickers 'perversely' exploit confusion about US immigration policy, Juan Orlando Hernandez tells reporters on Capitol Hill
More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

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