Lula Announces Bold Measures For Flood Relief In Rio Grande Do Sul

(MENAFN- The Rio Times) In response to Rio Grande do Sul's floods, President Lula announced significant aid measures for the region.

On his third visit to the area, Lula introduced a new ministry for reconstruction and unveiled a comprehensive aid package.

The floods have caused severe damage, leaving 149 dead and displacing hundreds of thousands.

Central to Lula's plan is the "Reconstruction Voucher," modeled after COVID-19 emergency assistance.

Valued at 5,100 reais (approximately $1,000), this voucher will help 200,000 severely affected families.

Residents in cities that declared a state of calamity and those whose homes were flooded will receive priority.

The government will deposit the aid into beneficiaries' accounts, without specifying a timeline for distribution.

The government formed the Extraordinary Secretariat for Rio Grande do Sul's Reconstruction to manage resources.

Led by Paulo Pimenta, Lula's ally and former Minister of Social Communication, this ministry will direct reconstruction efforts.
Lula Announces Bold Measures for Flood Relief in Rio Grande do Sul
The plan includes repairing roads, bridges, and the Porto Alegre Airport, which is closed until at least September.

Immediate efforts will focus on providing housing for nearly 540,000 displaced residents.

The government plans to buy homes in affected cities, distribute repossessed properties, and use 14,000 private sector units, with 600 ready.

The government will also consider additional public housing projects under the "My House, My Life" program.

Lula's administration has allocated over 60.7 billion reais ($12 billion) for Rio Grande do Sul and postponed the state's debt repayments for three years.

International support, including contributions from BRICS, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and Development Bank of Latin America, totals over $3 billion.

Argentina, Uruguay, Israel, the UK, and Japan have sent aid in the form of water purifiers and medical supplies.

The Biden administration has expressed intentions to assist, though specific announcements are pending.

Lula emphasized speeding up relief efforts to avoid delays that could erode public trust in institutions and democracy.

He condemned misinformation spread by political opponents and called for unity and cooperation across political divides.

The collaboration with Rio Grande do Sul's conservative governor, Eduardo Leite, exemplifies this bipartisan approach.


The Rio Times

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