23% of Brazilians from classes D and E failed to receive the emergency aid offered during the AIDS pandemic covid-19 due to the digital divide. Among the reasons are the lack of ability to deal with digital devices and the limitations of access to the internet.
Aafter a three-month interruption, emergency aid was repaid in April 2021, with amount ranging from 150 reais to 375 reais, depending on the profile of the beneficiary and the composition of each family. The total amount, as budgeted by the government, is 44 billion reais, which corresponds to less than 15% of what was paid in 2020 (293 billion reais).
The information is from a study by the Center for the Study of Microfinance and Financial Inclusion of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGVcemif) and the Bori Agency.
Based on data from the ICT panel Covid-19, from the Regional Center for Studies for the Development of the Information Society (Cetic.br), the researchers applied a questionnaire to internet users over 16 years of age from all regions of the country, between June and September 2020.
Among these respondents, 38% stated that they were able to receive emergency aid. Another 20% had their requests denied, that is, they did not receive emergency assistance.
Considering only the portion of people in classes D and E, the percentage of those who tried to apply but failed rises to 23%.
Lauro Gonzalez, coordinator of FGVcemif, recalls that one in four Brazilians still does not use the internet, a proportion that represents approximately 47 million people, mostly in classes D and E.
“This ends up being a problem, since the people of these classes are precisely those who are in the greatest condition of social vulnerability and need income transfer policies”, highlights González, who is one of the authors of the study.
Digital exclusion is strongest in classes D and E
According to the study:
- Near 20% of users of classes D and E they said that the lack of access to a cell phone prevented them from obtaining the benefit;
- The limitation in internet access impacts 22% of class D and E applicants, but only 9% of the total of interviewees;
- Difficulties to download the Caixa app had twice as much percentage in classes D and E (18%) than informed by the total (9%) and
- 28% of users of these classes reported a lack of ability to use the app, against 12% of the total respondents.
Given these data, the authors emphasize that it is essential that the provision of emergency assistance, which is aimed at the population most affected by the pandemic of the covid-19, be carried out in friendly, intuitive interfaces and aligned with the specificities of the mobile devices of these users.
“The formulation and implementation of public policies needs to take into account the reality of low income in the use of technologies”, warn the authors of the study, who emphasize the importance of the role of city halls and professionals who work at the local level to help those who have difficulties to handle the application.