Flag of Brazil


Surui native of the Amazon
Surui native from the Amazon.


In 1962, USAID began partnering with the Brazilian people on issues such as health, education, food security, sanitation, rights of children and adolescents, human trafficking, energy, microenterprise development, and the environment.

During the 1960s and 1970s, USAID helped Brazil strengthen its national institutions and build their capacity to address complex problems, such as economic instability and social inequality. USAID supported some of the most important public universities in Brazil, provided higher education support to a generation of Brazil’s leading economists, helped build transport and electric infrastructure, and strengthened the country’s public administration.

One of the most significant institutions to receive USAID assistance during this period was the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, EMBRAPA). Created in 1972 to combat a food crisis in Brazil, EMBRAPA received support from USAID to increase its research capabilities. Today, and in part due to EMBRAPA, Brazil is one of the world’s largest agricultural producers.

In the 1980s, USAID focused its work on the environment, health, and human trafficking issues. The environment program focused on global climate change, biodiversity conservation, forest fire prevention, and renewable energy. USAID worked closely with the Brazilian government to control and treat tuberculosis and supported the work of non-governmental organizations in HIV/AIDS prevention. USAID supported civil society organizations to stop human trafficking and protect the rights of children and adolescents.

During the mid-1980s, USAID expanded its work to target at-risk youth and support corporate mentoring and internship placement programs. Today, we continue to assist programs that provide employment opportunities, job training, and life-skills building. In 2011, the United States and Brazil partnered to implement development activities and provide expertise in other countries. This new donor role for Brazil recognizes the country's economic ascent and desire to apply its domestic experience in decreasing poverty and hunger and increasing people’s participation in society.

USAID/Brazil became the Agency’s first “Strategic Partnerships Mission” in 2014, recognizing that Brazil was no longer a traditional aid recipient, but rather an advancing partner in addressing global development challenges. The operational premise is that USAID/Brazil should serve as a catalytic platform for partnership in the region, in order to address Agency’s priorities not only in the Brazilian Amazon, but also in other parts of the world (see Trilateral Cooperation).

In light of this new approach and in the spirit of working with Brazil as a partner, in August 2014, USAID signed a bilateral agreement with the Government of Brazil to support its efforts to conserve biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon and to foster the participation of the private sector in social and economic investment activities in Brazil, in addition to ongoing work to facilitate trilateral cooperation. The following is a summary of our work in these areas.