Emergency funds to support communities affected by flooding in Brazil. (30.10.15)
We are supporting the emergency relief efforts of the Anglican Church as flooding continues to affect thousands of people in southern Brazil.
A tornado and torrential storms have caused destruction, with more severe weather on the way.
An estimated 200,000 people have been affected, with thousands left homeless.
The Anglican Church is providing food parcels, drinking water and basic medicines, as well as plastic sheeting for emergency roof repairs, with plans to fix roofs as soon as possible.
Over 130 towns and cities have been affected, most of them in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Many of the worst-affected communities are already poverty stricken, leaving them in extreme crisis.
The Revd Arthur P Cavalcante, General Secretary of the Anglican Church in Brazil, reported: ‘The areas most affected are Canoas, Santa Maria, Itaara, Rosário do Sul, São Gabriel e Pelotas. Approximately 485 families below the poverty line have had their homes destroyed, and the local government does not have enough capacity to meet the needs of so many families.
He added: ‘When the water levels begin to subside, and people are able to return to their homes or what is left of them, we will have a clearer picture of the work ahead so families can return to safe homes with the minimum provisions for living.’
Climate change and El Nino
Describing the wider context for the recent spate of natural disasters, Mr Cavalcante explained: ‘Climate change is affecting Brazil more and more. There is an increased frequency of extreme weather events like, El Nino, due to global warming.
‘The occurrence of el Nino has profound socio-economic consequences. Not only because it destroys livelihoods, such as subsistence agriculture, but also because it destroys homes and impacts on health due to water-borne illnesses, lack of appropriate sanitation and contaminated drinking water.
‘As always, the poorest people are most affected.’
Us Director of Global Relations Rachel Parry said: ‘The impact of El Nino this year in a country the size of Brazil means that the south are experiencing heavy rains while the north is dry and experiencing severe drought.
‘Just as we need to stand in solidarity with and support our suffering brothers and sisters in their time of need, these events must drive us to advocate even more strongly for a serious global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.’
- Us has sent a grant to support church relief work from our Rapid Response Fund. Please support this work with a donation.