World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has praised Brazil's flagship social program known as Bolsa Familia, that is designed to improve living conditions for some eight million poor families nationwide.

In Sao Paulo Tuesday, Mr. Wolfowitz praised the program that provides a minimum level of income for poor families as long as their children stay in school.

He said the program, launched by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in October 2003, is a highly effective model that can bring help to other poor countries.

The World Bank president said Brazil has made good progress in reducing poverty, but its economy needs to grow at a much higher rate to successfully combat extreme poverty.

Mr. Wolfowitz said extreme economic inequalities mean the benefits of economic growth have not done as much to reduce poverty in Brazil than in other countries.

He winds up his six-day trip to South America's largest country Wednesday.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.