Brazil

Temer announces investment in drought-relief projects

President Michel Temer has announced $230 million in investments to build 133,000 rainwater harvesting cisterns, ponds, and water access projects in 15 Brazilian states reeling from drought, mostly in Northeast Brazil.

The projects are expected to benefit more than a million people in 759 municipalities, according to the Ministry of Social and Agrarian Development.

During a ceremony Tuesday (Dec. 27) in Alagoas, one of the Northeastern states, Temer said the region will also benefit from the repatriation of offshore funds, as a “second call” will add to the money to be split among states.

“I have good news: we are putting a new repatriation round in place. It is like a second call to allow those who have not brought [their money back to Brazil] to do so now. At this second round, we are introducing an obligation to share the money with states—not just the funds coming in from tax revenue, but also from fines.”

Congress votes

Temer again placed strong emphasis on the government's talks with Congress to ensure important matters for the government get the green-lights from legislators. “We are experiencing a deep recession and we must take steps to overcome it, so we need to keep talks with Congress. Thank goodness we have succeeded in having more than 88% of the bills we've sent to them approved.”

The president said the support in Congress will be crucial to secure the approval of other government policies, especially as the government tries to pass a labour reform.

Translated by Mayra Borges