Brazil: ADRA Feeds Families Displaced by Floods
SILVER SPRING, Md. – Several days of heavy rains in the Northern state of Roraima, Brazil has led to severe flooding causing the Brazilian Civil Defense to declare a state of emergency in seven cities. More than 355,000 people have been affected by the flood, which has displaced tens of thousands of people. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is responding to the humanitarian needs of flood victims, providing them with much needed food rations.
In coordination with the state Civil Defense and local authorities, ADRA Brazil is supplying at least 321 households (1,600 persons) in Boa Vista and surrounding cities in Roraima state with food rations. Each food ration is comprised of rice, beans, vegetable oil, cassava flour, salt, sugar, pasta and tomato sauce. The intervention is in response to a request made by the Brazilian Civil Defense to assist displaced families in the worst affected areas, and will last for 30 days.
After several days of heavy rains, the Rio Branco River has risen almost 11 meters above the normal level. According to state Civil Defense and local government authorities, the floods have affected 79% of the population in 14 of the 15 municipalities of Roraima. Over 40,000 people displaced by the floods have sought shelter with friends or family members, and thousands of others are still in need of shelter.
At this time, one of the greatest challenges is the lack of fuel for electric power, as diesel is widely used to power the cities. It has been reported that power systems have only enough fuel to last for seven days before entirely running out.
Due to the floods, numerous roads have closed down, leaving countless numbers of people stranded from home and making it difficult to reach critical public services. Reports also stated that more than 36,000 students are unable to attend school until floodwaters recede and a state of normalcy returns. Many are skeptical that much progress will be made as the rainy season has just begun and will last through August.
ADRA International, ADRA in South American, and the local Union of Seventh-day Adventist churches are funding this intervention.