Brazil is the only nation in the Americas that is among t,he 10 countries with the highest number of people affected by disasters between 1995 and 2015, according to a report published by the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). Center for Research on Epidemiology in Disasters (Cred).
In those two decades, 51 million Brazilians were impacted by catastrophes. More than one in five Brazilian municipalities (almost 22% of them) were in an emergency or public calamity recognized by the federal government in 2015.
The occurrence of natural disasters in Brazil increased 268% in the decade of 2000 compared to the previous 10 years, according to the head of the National Center for Risk and Disaster Management (Cenad in Portuguese), Rafael Schadeck. Among the major disasters with increased incidence are those that most generate fatalities, such as floods and mass movements.
Aid to the affected
Thinking of how to help people affected by natural disasters, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) adapted a truck to work with affected communities during the first days after the disaster.
Produced by Truckvan, an action supporter, the mobile unit is approximately 45 m² in area and is divided into three compartments each designed to meet the main needs of the population: the first will be used to prepare hot meals, the second for washing and drying clothes and the third for psychological support.
In the food preparation space, the mobile unit has the capacity to provide 15,000 quick meals a day. Food will be donated in the morning, lunch and dinner. “Having a warm, nourishing, lovingly prepared meal makes a big difference when you’ve just gone through a situation where you’ve often lost everything, or almost everything,” says ADRA Brazil program director Paulo de Tarsus.
Considering minimizing health problems and generating more comfort and dignity for the affected people, the space where clothes washing and drying will be performed – in this regard, the mobile unit has the capacity to attend 64 families per day. In cases of floods or storms, it is common for families to have their clothes and blankets wet, having difficulty drying due to the continued rainfall, or often having only dirty water for washing.
Another area most affected is emotional health, due to the loss of some family, property or even the moment of dread experienced. They are people who are desperate, needing a comfort, consolation, a word friend that the incentive to rise again and restarting their lives. Professionals oriented and experienced in counseling will be part of the volunteer team that will serve the population. On average, 10 families per day can be cared for.