German Federal Foreign Office supports humedica’s relief efforts in Brazil

by Ruth Bücker, 2011/01/14

The humedica Children’s Village in Brazil is situated between the cities of Nova Friburgo and Teresópolis. The distance between the cities is about 70 kilometres and the Children’s Village is located between those two cities that have been affected worst by the severe weather and its consequences. Brazilian authorities have announced the shocking news of 450 casualties in these two cities alone.

Located immediately at a hillside, close to the two cities that have been affected worst: the humedica Children’s Village. Photo: archive humedica

At this time of the year, rainfalls are far from unusual in Brazil. However, this year’s seasonal rainstorms have been markedly heavier than during the last decades: they flooded roads, caused rivers to burst their banks and – what probably brought on the worst consequences – set off landslides in the mountainous region that claimed the lives of hundreds of persons.

Those living on those hillsides, in the so-called Favelas, are the poorest of the poor. There is not enough living space in the cities and for many persons the costs of living there are simply too high. Therefore, these informal settlements are built up the hillsides. These simple huts made of corrugated metal sheets had no chance of withstanding the sliding mud.

The currently estimated number of about 500 casualties is threatens to increase, since further continuous rainfalls have been forecast, which will aggravate the already dangerous situation. Only when the rain stops and all of the areas affected by floods and landslides can be reached, will the entire extent of the already worst natural disaster that has hit Brazil in decades be revealed.

At the moment an estimated number of 150,000 persons have been affected, with about 20,000 of them having lost their homes. Together with the employees of humedica Brazil and thanks to the generous support of the German Federal Foreign Office that has already assured to contribute 170,000 euros to humedica’s emergency relief measures, first relief measures are already being planned.

Soon, a team of humedica coordinators, consisting of Nils Stilke, logistician Christian Simmons and medical coordinator Dr Irmgard Harms (Hindelang), will set out for Brazil. A first medical team will follow next week.

We will provide those affected by the disaster with drinking water and water disinfection tablets, as well as with medical treatment. Afterwards, we will help those persons who have lost all their belongings to find a perspective for their future.

Please support our efforts and continue to live Charity in Action also in the year 2011. For donations please use our online form or the bank details below:
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Landslide Brazil
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Please also support us and the people in Brazil by means of sending a text message: send the reference DOC to 8 11 90 and you will be charged 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica relief projects.

Thank you very much!

Rescue forces are searching for the victims of a mudslide in Teresópolis. Photo: alertnet.org/Reuters/Luiza Garcia

Note for media representatives

If you would like to interview our mission team members, they will be at your disposal before their departure, as well as after their arrival in Brazil. Please contact the humedica employees in charge.

This article contains information derived from spiegel.de, sueddeutsche.de and alertnet.org, and REUTERS.

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