Social inequality is a continuing problem in Brazil, but as president, Luiz Inãcio Lula da Silva has focused more attention on the issue than his predecessors. When he took office in January 2003, Lula created the new Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger (Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome) to manage the country’s investments aimed at reducing poverty, combating hunger, increasing school attendance, and improving the number of people—especially children—who receive basic health care. One such program, Bolsa Família (Family Fund), is based on a direct transfer of funds to low-income families that agree to keep their children in school and provide them with basic health care. Its main purpose is to provide “households the incentives to invest in human capital and thereby reduce poverty [and minimize social inequalities] in the long-run” (de Janvry et al. 2005: 1).