Government launches program for sanitary measures in indigenous lands

indigenous congress
Congress pays homage to indigenous populations. Photo: Pedro França/SF

The government aims to boost actions to minimize the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic to indigenous communities by releasing extraordinary credit of BRL 235 million (USD 46.5 million). The money will be used to protect against land invasions, distribute food and strengthen sanitary measures.

Emergency credit measures are used for urgent and unpredictable expenses, such as in cases of war, social unrest, or public calamity. The funds are not forecast in the federal budget. When announcing the measure, the administration cited a decision by the Supreme Court ordering the federal government to adopt necessary measures to fight the coronavirus among indigenous populations.

BRL 41 million will be used to hire personnel to beef up sanitary controls, intended to block movement and hinder the spread of the coronavirus. BRL 20.9 million will be used for military and Federal Police actions to protect against trespassing on indigenous lands. The lion’s share of BRL 173 million is earmarked for food and nutrition security programs.