IFRC launches emergency appeal to bring urgent support to people affected by devastating floods in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

IFRC launches emergency appeal to bring urgent support to people affected by devastating floods in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Fecha de publicación: 
13 May 2024
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Imagen principal: 

Geneva/Panama City 

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal for CHF 8,000,000 to scale up humanitarian assistance to communities affected by the devastating floods in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.   

This unprecedented flooding has affected two million people in both rural and urban areas, while the number of displaced people has exceeded 620,000, with more than 81,000 staying in schools, gymnasiums and other temporary shelters. These numbers could rise as damage is still being assessed in some remote or isolated areas, and the state is again on alert with the risk of waters rising to record levels in the capital, Porto Alegre. 

Through this emergency appeal, the IFRC global network will support, for the next 12 months, 25,000 people who have lost their homes and are in urgent need of assistance, especially single-parent families with children under five, the elderly, and people with disabilities.  

Since the rains started, the Brazilian Red Cross (BRC) teams have been working around the clock to keep people safe. Red Cross volunteers have been providing first aid, health care and psychological support to the affected population. In shelters, they are carrying out hygiene promotion initiatives and helping people get in touch with their loved ones. 

The BRC has also activated collection centers and sent tons of relief supplies to the affected areas. Volunteers will help distribute the supplies and work with local authorities to assess needs and damage in 160 communities. With the support from the IFRC, they will scale up their response, focusing on health through health and hygiene promotion, psychosocial support and access to safe water. 

In Porto Alegre alone, more than 80% of residents don't have running water. Five of the city’s six water treatment facilities aren’t working, and local authorities decreed that water be used exclusively for essential consumption.  

“In the immediate term, we will focus on caring for the physical and mental health of the most vulnerable people, ensuring that they have access to water – including information and means for carrying out household water disinfection- and distributing cleaning and hygiene articles, blankets, solar lamps and advice on disease prevention” said Daniel Bolanos, IFRC head of the Southern Cone Delegation.  

As the initial response moves forward, IFRC Disaster Response specialists already in the affected area are preparing the ground to scale up the response. "Recovery from the floods will take at least a year, and the Red Cross is ready to coordinate with the affected communities themselves on what needs to be prioritized and how to address them along time," added Bolanos. 

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