Appeal for Brazil’s homeless flood victims
28 May 2009
Caritas is appealing for US$1.1 million to help people hit by massive flooding in north and northeastern Brazil.
A resident hangs her clothes to dry on the roof of a house flooded by the Mearim river in Bacabal, in the northeastern state of Maranhao May 12, 2009. Floods and mudslides from months of heavy rains in northern Brazil have driven more than 300,000 from their homes and killed at least 44 people, according to the Brazilian Civil Defense.
An estimated one million people have been affected and over 400,000 people still can’t return to their homes after weeks of heavy rain caused massive flooding at the beginning of May. Forty-nine people in 12 states have so far died in the floods.
“There are people still living in houses full of water, which are damp and which smell unbearable,” says Lucineth Cordeiro Machado, from the local Caritas in the region of Maranhão.
Caritas plans to initially help 25,000 people cover their basic needs. These people will receive a food basket containing rice, flour, beans, oil, milk and tinned fish; hygiene kits, drinkable water and access to shelter.
Caritas will then focus on 200 vulnerable families (1000 people) to provide them with help rebuilding their homes and livelihoods. These families will include ones comprising young children, the aged and families headed by women.
Around 90,000 families have been made homeless and depend on public shelters. Up to 400,000 children are not attending school because roads have been closed and school buildings are being used to house people who can’t return to their homes.
Caritas’ emergency programme to help the flood vicitms is planned to last one year. Caritas is continuing assessments in the north of the country to ascertain the needs of the flood victims.
Brazil’s arid northeast is traditionally associated with drought. The current rains there are forecast to persist for at least another two weeks.
For more information, please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879721/+39 334 2344136 or firstname.lastname@example.org