The EU allocated €500,000 in emergency funds to respond to the consequences of flooding in Brazil. Since mid-May, heavy rains have particularly affected the area of Paraiba, Pernambuco and Alagoas states causing severe damage, landslides, and loss of livelihoods.
According to field assessments, as of 9 June more than 140,000 have been displaced due to damages caused by the floods, counting as well some 131 fatalities. Most of the affected communities are extremely vulnerable and live in areas which are chronically exposed to natural hazards.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Heavy rains affecting Brazil represent a worrisome phenomenon that generates disastrous humanitarian consequences for the population. The EU responds once again with the allocation of this emergency fund to provide immediate relief to people who are left displaced and with no resources. Together with our humanitarian partners on the ground, we are working to ensure a prompt response.”
This funding aims to cover urgent needs of the affected population such as water and sanitation, hygiene, shelter, cleaning operations and reparations, mental health and protection as well as cash assistance.
The €500,000 in funding is drawn from the EU's Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT). 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 of Brazil are still affecting a large portion of the local population. Climate change might have influenced the intensity of precipitations, being one of the possible causes of extreme weather events worldwide.
In January 2022, the European Commission already assisted Brazil in responding to another flooding emergency through the allocation of a humanitarian fund of €1 million. For several months between 2021 and the beginning of 2022, 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.
The funds for both allocations are drawn from the Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT), a financing instrument 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.