Brazil Lula Offers Plans for Recovery From Rains
In this clear and concise article by The New Times, there is an analysis over public policies in Brazil. Confronted with the tragedy of Santa Catarina torrential rains, Brazilian leader Lula da Silva asked God for help. But Lula also "said that the government might let people take money from their mandatory unemployment accounts to rebuild homes and businesses destroyed by mudslides, and that the state-owned Banco do Brasil S.A. might offer special loans for farmers hit hard by the floods." The number of casualties continues to rise sadly.
SÃO PAULO, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s president asked God to halt the devastating rains that have killed at least 116 people in a southern state and offered new plans on Monday to help tens of thousands of people rebuild ruined homes and businesses. Continuing rains have hindered rescuers’ attempts to find bodies of more victims claimed by the mudslides and floods in Santa Catarina State while making it tough for survivors to return home, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said on his weekly radio show. “We’re only asking God to stop the rains soon so that we can start to rebuild the state of Santa Catarina,” he said. Thirty-one people are still missing, and some officials have estimated that the death count could rise to as many as 150. About 80,000 people were forced from their homes by storms that dumped more water on the region during the weekend of Nov. 22-23 than it normally gets in months. An additional 8,000 people were displaced in neighboring Rio de Janeiro State.
Mr. da Silva said that the government might let people take money from their mandatory unemployment accounts to rebuild homes and businesses destroyed by mudslides, and that the state-owned Banco do Brasil S.A. might offer special loans for farmers hit hard by the floods. He also called for a study on the causes of the devastation, saying that heavy rains alone should not have been able to cause such damage. The aid would come on top of programs announced last week for $830 million in government emergency aid and $650 million in loans from the government-owned bank Caixa Economica Federal for people and businesses in the disaster zone. Mr. da Silva did not specify how much Brazilians would be able to withdraw from their unemployment accounts, which receive contributions from workers and employers.