The situation developing in Brazil is leaving the nation victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, with very few protective measures from the government.
This week, Jair Bolsonaro attended an anti-lockdown rally, coughing without covering his mouth and demanding that the country be opened up. His fears that a lockdown will plunge the nation into a recession, are greater than his concern for the health and lives of millions of Brazilian citizens.
There are over 13 million Brazilians living in the favelas, and they are being given no protection from the government, who demand they continue to travel and work. The challenge these favelas face is beyond comprehension. Self-isolating in houses with ten inhabitants, an infrequent water supply that makes sanitization nearly impossible; densely populated areas where people must go to work in order to have enough food for the day.
In order to limit the spread in these living conditions, some sort of government intervention is necessary to protect and already marginalized portion of society.
But the government refuses to intervene. Last week, Luiz Henrique Mandatta, the Brazilian health minister, was fired from his job after arguing for the importance of social distancing. The very people in charge of the nation’s health are being removed from power. On Saturday, the Justice Minister. Sergio Moro resigned, accusing Bolsonaro of political interference. Moro and Bolsonaro were incredibly close, with Moro helping to get his elected. This huge shift in political allegiance shows the volatile nature of Brazilian politics at this time.
Bolsonaro is using this pandemic as a means of establishing a dictatorship, and it is the poorest communities who are suffering from the virus of authoritarianism.
Currently, there are around 3500 confirmed deaths in Brazil, with over 40,000 confirmed cases. However, the number of tests and the lack of services around the country mean this could be far higher. Their peak is not expected until the end of May, and already we are seeing widespread infection and exceedingly high death rates. The medical system is teetering on the brink of collapse, and the government is doing little to support it.
We can only hope that the activists in the favelas can provide some relief to communities - handing out care packages, delivering medical supplies, and keeping morale up in these difficult times.
At ACE we have donated 108 Food Kits, (which provide one month of food to a family)
We have served 485 people in 7 different favelas.
We have done all this with only $3041 donated, and are looking for more funding to spread this work to more vulnerable families in the community.
Any help you can give us at this time goes an extremely long way. We thank you for your continued support, and hope you stay healthy, safe, and positive in these difficult times.
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