With an area of 8.5 million square kilometers and a population of 172 million, Brazil is the largest country in South America. It is a nation characterized by diverse geographical conditions and a wealth of natural value, within its territory lies most of the Amazon forest and the Amazon river, the largest river in the world in volume of water.
Brazil is a middle income economy with well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors. Despite this, the country has been described as where "The First and The Third Worlds meet." Brazil has one of the highest rates of inequality in terms of income distribution- the richest 10% of the population possessing 50% of the nation's wealth and the poorest 50% only 12%.
"In the rural areas of the country, only 12% of the population is served with water and public sewage, and only 44% have light and power. One third of the country’s population is reported to be malnourished. Approximately 16 million homeless children roam the streets, and nine out of ten children drop out of school after ten years of age." "During my city tour (Sao Paulo, Brazil), the impact of poverty and crime in Brazil began to hit home. While stuck in a rush hour traffic jam, we were approached by a young homeless girl, perhaps four or five years old, dressed in torn, dirty clothes, begging for food or money. She was holding a ball of glue (used in the manufacture of leather shoes), to which she was addicted. The sight of an innocent, young, drug-dependent homeless child was almost too much for me to bear."
Listen to a live broadcast of China's opening remarks at the Fifth Conference of the Parties held November 1999
CIA World Factbook 1999—Brazil <http://www.odci.government/cia/publications/factbook/br.html> . [relied upon heavily.] Murillo de Aragao, Brazil: Regional Inequalities and Ecological Diversity in a Federal System, Engaging Countries Strengthening Compliance with International Environmental Accords 481(Harold K. Jacobson and Edith Brown Weiss 1998). [relied upon heavily.] Id. at 480.1
Howard C. Gelbtuch, Brazil: appraising in an inflationary environment, 62 Appraisal J. 507, 13.