RECIFE, BRAZIL=ADThe Adventist Development
and Relief Agency (ADRA) is providing much-needed assistance to thousands
left homeless in northeast Brazil following five days of torrential rains
and subsequent mudslides, reportedly the worst disaster in northeast Brazil
in 15 years.
"Several dams broke, with the additional water going beyond the river banks. It rushed down the valleys and destroyed schools and buildings, barns and bridges. There is more than a meter of mud and trees inside many buildings," reports Ronald Kuhn, ADRA regional vice president for the South American Division. "The local situation is chaotic. People have lost everything."
ADRA is providing relief assistance to 2,500 people in Belém de Maria in Pernambuco state. The humanitarian organization is providing recipients with food baskets containing rice, beans, noodles, milk powder, and other items, as well as clothing and a hygiene kit. ADRA donors in Brazil, the United States, and from ADRA=B9s South American Division office are funding the assistance.
ADRA and other volunteers are collecting, sorting and packaging items for the food baskets in Recife, the capital city of Pernambuco, at the Northeast Adventist Institute (ENA). ENA, a Seventh-day Adventist school, is also a distribution center for relief supplies for the people who were left shelterless after the 400-500 homes on the banks of the river were destroyed.
"Although the school was partially destroyed and the dormitory students were evacuated for several days, it was chosen to be a distribution point because of the strong physical structure and because of the trust that the community has in the school staff," says Kuhn.
ADRA is distributing an additional 14 tons of food in Recife, provided by Civil Defense of Pernambuco.
After the initial relief assistance is provided, ADRA is planning to be involved in rehabilitation activities. ADRA=B9s focus will be on resettlement projects and "helping them find housing or shelter," Kuhn says. ADRA is also providing health education in Brazil, including preventive health care, AIDS prevention, water, literacy for adults and other projects.
ADRA is an independent, humanitarian agency established in 1984 with the specific purpose of individual and community development and disaster relief. As a nongovernmental organization (NGO), ADRA helps people without regard to age, ethnicity, or political or religious association.
Anyone wishing to help ADRA=B9s relief efforts in Brazil with financial contributions can call 1-800-424-ADRA (2372) or visit ADRA=B9s website at www.adra.org.
Contact: Beth Michaels, Media
Phone: (301) 680-6355Fax: (301) 680-6370