This paper presents an evaluation of federal government expenditures in the counties included in the São Francisco Action Plan (SFAP), which encompasses 789 counties (and eight states) of the area under the influence of the Integration of the São Francisco River with Basins of Northern Northeastern Project - best known as the São Francisco River Diversion Project - and of the São Francisco environmental restoration project. The expenditures up to 2008 and planned for 2009 and 2010 by fourteen organizations that responded to an inquiry from the Ministry of National Integration on the investments in the SFAP totaled R$ 32.3 billion for the three periods considered. Pernambuco, Bahia and Minas Gerais were the largest beneficiaries, with amounts estimated at R$ 7.2, R$ 6.9 and R$ 5.3 billion, respectively; or 60% of the total amount. Expenses made by 2008 corresponded to 54% of the total amount (R$ 17.5 billion). Considering expenditure categories, the investments in social development and protection, in support of small rural and urban entrepreneurs, and actions to allow access to clean water totaled R$ 17.2 billion, R$ 9.6 billion and R$ 2.4 billion, respectively, with an emphasis on investments in cash transfer, credit for small landholders, and the construction of water supply and storage systems. These categories were followed, in order of importance, by environmental support actions (R$ 2.2 billion), implementation of irrigation schemes (R$ 474 million) and land tenure regularization (R$ 296 million), mainly for spending in sanitation improvements, the construction and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure, and credit for land purchasing. The Gini Index indicated that the number of actions planned for 2009 were well distributed among the counties (0.12), and less so when considered the amount of total planned investments per county (0.50). Other aspects of the spatial distribution of the investments and their capability of bringing development for the region are also presented and discussed.
São Francisco river action plan river basin integration water diversion government expenditures