Brazil: European Union releases €1 million in emergency funds to support people affected by floods
The European Union allocated €900,000 on top of a first allocation of €100,000 in emergency funds to respond to the consequences of floods in Brazil. During the past two months, heavy rains affected several Brazilian municipalities, particularly in the states of Bahia and Minas Gerais, resulting in disastrous consequences for the population and the loss of houses, schools and vital infrastructures.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Following the worrying developments of the heavy rains affecting Brazil, the EU responds with this emergency fund to provide immediate relief to the affected population. Together with our humanitarian partners on the ground, we are working to ensure a prompt response for the vulnerable people facing the consequences of floods, in particular those forced to leave their homes as consequence of the disaster.”
This funding aims to cover urgent needs through the provision of food, drinking water, shelter and household items. Humanitarian partners will also support the population with healthcare services to mitigate the risk of disease outbreaks. In addition, cash grants are foreseen as a component of the response to sustain people who lost their home and livelihoods.
The €900,000 in funding is drawn from the EU's Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT), topping EU’s first funding allocation of €100,000 in December 2021 from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). The EU will continue activities of close monitoring and needs assessment in order to prepare for further developments and offers coordination support for any other incoming assistance.
The heavy rainfall causing floods and landslides in an extensive area in North-East and South-East states of Brazil is a direct consequence of the meteorological phenomenon known as South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ) and of La Niña, a climate pattern typical of the Pacific Ocean.
Climate change might also have influenced the intensity of precipitations, being one of the possible causes of extreme weather events worldwide.
According to field assessments and partners reports, 163 municipalities are in emergency state, particularly in the southern part of Bahia state and north of Minas Gerais state. As of 12 January, the affected population is estimated to be over 800,000 individuals with a prevision of 101,256 people in need of assistance. First assessments also report 2 people missing, 520 wounded and at least 50 deaths.
The Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT) is designed to respond to large natural hazards that cause disasters affecting over 100,000 people or over 50% of the population. Depending on the type of disaster, the aim is to allocate funds within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the emergency.
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