Indigenous community marks preliminary success in the fight against Corona

The indigenous community of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil, is seeing some positive results in the fight against Corona according to a current report by the Institute for Social and Environmental Affairs (ISA), one of Climate Alliance Austria’s partner organisations on the Rio Negro in Brazil.

An inter-institutional crisis committee has been set up in the Brazilian community to initiate measures improving local health infrastructure. The committee is coordinating work with other organisations. With the help of ISA and Greenpeace, for example, 13 health stations have been established on indigenous territory. A contingency plan developed by ISA’s Rio Negro Program managed to raise R$2.2 million to purchase medical materials, hygiene products and implement communication measures, and with the help of Doctors without Borders, a COVID-19 reception center with 30 beds has gone into operation.

Further measures have been supported in partnership with Climate Alliance Austria’s partner FOIRN, the umbrella association for the Rio Negro’s indigenous organisations, including participation in biosecurity trainings for local teams, the facilitation of donations from companies and institutions, an analysis of the pandemic‘s development at the Rio Negro, and communications work as well as information material on COVID-19.

Indigenous peoples continue to face serious threats, however, such as the indigenous genocide being perpetrated by the Bolsonaro government and institutional racism. It is thus critical to draw public attention to these pressures as well.

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