A group of UN human rights experts on Friday charged that Brazil revise its economic program, saying cuts in social programs and budget constraints are aggravating inequities and penalizing the poorest .

“People living in poverty and other marginalized groups are suffering disproportionately from austere economic measures in a country that has already been considered an example of progressive policies to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion, ” says a statement released by the group. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The text is signed by seven volunteer specialists who make up a team responsible for Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council .

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the group’s criticism is unfounded and that fiscal adjustment has been instrumental in maintaining and improving social policies.

Cuts in social programs

The statement of UN experts says Brazil has been a “champion in the fight against hunger and malnutrition,” but is “dramatically reversing their policies for food security.” He also cites cuts in the housing program “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” and a one-third reduction in investments planned for 2018 in the areas of basic sanitation and access to water.

The group criticizes the approval of Constitutional Amendment 95, one of the main economic initiatives of the Michel Temer administration, which limits the growth of government spending for 20 years.

The statement mentions recent data showing the first rise in infant mortality in Brazil in 26 years.

“This increase, attributed to a number of factors, including the zika epidemic and the economic crisis, is a matter of serious concern, especially with budget constraints in the public health system and other social policies, which seriously undermine the state’s commitment to guarantee rights for all, especially children and women. “

The group says some government economic decisions in recent years are hampering “the enjoyment of rights to housing, food, water, sanitation, education, foresight and health, and are exacerbating preexisting inequalities.”